Is Your Car Safe?

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Many of the new cars hitting showrooms are safer than their predecessors.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reports the number of new cars considered the safest by the insurance industry nearly tripled in the past year. The institute cites the push by carmakers to make certain safety equipment more widely available.

Meantime, Ford and Honda had the most vehicles on the institutes annual list of the safest cars for the 2008 model year. Subaru and Hyundai both had four vehicles on the list. Thirty-four vehicles received the top safety pick designation for 2008, compared with 13 vehicles from the 2007 model year.

Pickup trucks were eligible to win for the first time this year because the institute conducted side-impact tests on many models. The Toyota Tundra was the first pickup truck to receive the IIHS designation.

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