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These are the safest vehicles of the year

To earn the highest safety honors from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, it’s no longer good enough for vehicles to protect people inside the vehicle.

They must also protect people outside the vehicle.

For the first time, IIHS is requiring automakers to offer pedestrian-detecting automatic emergency braking systems to receive the group’s 2020 Top Safety Pick+ or Top Safety Pick honors.

Automakers covet the IIHS awards, which they often trumpet in their marketing because many car buyers give extra consideration to those vehicles.

IIHS President David Harkey said the organization decided to require the pedestrian crash prevention technology on its top award, Top Safety Pick+, because of the nation’s pedestrian safety crisis.

“That was really important because of the spike we’ve seen in pedestrian fatalities over the past decade,” he said.

Nearly 6,300 pedestrians died in crashes in 2018, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. That was a 28-year high, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association.

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