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These 15 vehicles are IIHS' top safety picks for 2018

Source CBS

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety is out with its latest list of the safest vehicles.

Another 47 vehicles earned the next-tier Top Safety Pick award with Toyota producing the most vehicles on that list, followed by Hyundai with nine.

The IIHS gave the award to only 15 vehicles, compared to 69 a year ago.

"Toyota and Lexus remain committed to providing safe and reliable vehicles and we're proud to have Toyota Safety Sense and Lexus Safety System+ as standard equipment on nearly every new model in our line-up". The sole Subaru model that did not qualify was the BRZ.

The coming year will be the first that required a good or acceptable rating for the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's small-overlap test, which measures how well front seat passengers are protected in frontal collisions, according to Consumer Reports, and many cars did not meet those new criteria to earn the top rating.

"Most drivers when they buy a vehicle they think the passenger is going to be protected as well as they are".

Crash tests have been part of the IIHS's playbook for years to make sure drivers are protected, but this year it made a decision to add tests to see how well passengers are protected.

The Mercedes-Benz GLC was the only vehicle grabbing the top safety ranking in the midsize luxury SUV category.

IIHS is placing more emphasis on the impact of headlights on the safety rating of new vehicles.

The Institute's headlight ratings also are relatively new, with the first ones being released in March 2016.

While automakers are claiming that kind of technology will be standard equipment in the near future, it won't be in all cases so if you are driving one of the "Top Pick Plus" vehicles, you may be simply driving its lower-priced, and lower rated, sibling instead. Only 15 of them earned the highest honors.