It is wise to do thorough research when shopping for a new car. Car safety reduces deaths, injuries and property damage and should be the most important criteria when evaluating a potential new car. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) determines the safety of a car through a number of tests and rates the vehicles annually according to their results. Vehicles need to earn good ratings in five crash worthiness tests, plus a basic rating for front crash prevention in order to qualify for the annual Top Safety Pick.