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A black and a green 2020 RAV4 are driving on a coastal highway.

Toyota: Let’s Go Places – Safely

When you are looking to buy your next car, one of the most important questions will be, “is the vehicle safe.” But if you are searching for a “Toyota dealership near me” to find a new, used, or certified pre-owned Toyota, then get ready for some good news because the answer is a resounding “Yes.” Toyota cars, trucks, minivans, and SUVs rank among the safest vehicles on the road today. In fact, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) ranked five Toyota models among its top safety picks for the 2020 model year and chose seven Toyota models for the 2019 model year. This excellent performance means that Toyota models will generally afford better safety and protection to passengers than another model from a different automaker in the same vehicle class.

A great deal of this has to do with the Toyota Safety Sense suite of advanced safety technology features, which go beyond passive safety features like airbags and crumple zones. Active technology improves your vehicle’s ability to avoid collisions and provides enhanced safety in the unfortunate incident of a crash. For a chance to try out these Toyota Safety Sense features, search for a local Toyota dealership and start test-driving the latest models.

Even if you are a skilled driver who takes all of the possible precautions, such as utilizing defensive driving techniques, observing the posted speed limit, and exercising the utmost caution, these active safety features remain valuable because you cannot always account for other drivers. It is a sad truth that despite our best efforts, automobile accidents remain a fact of life. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, accidents are currently the third leading cause of death in the United States, trailing only heart disease and cancer.

Toyota IIHS Top Safety Picks

A white 2020 Toyota Corolla Hybrid is driving on a highway after leaving a Toyota dealership near you.

The IIHS chose five Toyota models for top safety picks for the 2020 model year. The IIHS looks at three separate criteria in making its ratings. First, it looks at crash tests involving the strength of the front, sides, and roof of the vehicle. Second, the IIHS looks at the vehicle’s ability to avoid frontal crashes involving pedestrians and other vehicles. Third, it tests the vehicle’s headlights to make sure they are up to standard.

After all these tests, the Toyota Camry four-door sedan was named a Top Safety Pick+ for midsize cars, signifying that it is one of the safest cars in its class. The other Toyotas named as Top Safety Picks by the IIHS are the Corolla four-door hatchback and Corolla four-door sedan for small cars, the Toyota RAV4 four-door SUV for small SUVs, and the Toyota Highlander four-door SUV for midsize SUVs. This follows the 2019 model year when seven Toyota models were named Top Safety Picks. The 2019 Toyota Camry four-door sedan was named a top pick for midsize cars, and the 2019 Toyota RAV4 SUV was in the top for small SUVs. The Toyota Corolla four-door hatchback, the Toyota Prius, and the Toyota Prius Prime were all named in the small car class, the Toyota Avalon in the midsize luxury car class, and the Toyota Highlander SUV in the midsize SUV class.

It is very impressive to see so many Toyota vehicles named as Top Safety Picks. You should keep in mind that each Toyota is competing against all the other makes and models in its vehicle class for the model year. The IIHS is one of the leading independent agencies for reviewing and rating vehicle safety, making sure that you, the consumer, have the information you need to determine the safest vehicle for you and your passengers.

Toyota Safety Sense

Toyota is among the most innovative automakers, pioneering many of the active safety features on today’s automobiles. These features leverage smart technology to allow your car to utilize radar, cameras, and computers built into the vehicle to handle emergencies faster than your reflexes can react. The engineers at Toyota understand that operating a vehicle while various events occur around you can be very distracting, which is where Toyota Safety Sense comes into play. Six different safety features comprise the Toyota Safety Sense suite, making your life easier and safer when you are driving your Toyota.

Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection helps you avoid a collision with a pedestrian or another vehicle, and to minimize the impact if a crash is unavoidable. The system uses the vehicle’s camera and either a laser or radar sensor to spot a potential collision in front of your Toyota. Should this occurs, the system will trigger a series of sound and vision alerts to get your attention so you can take evasive action. If you hit the brakes, the system will engage the Brake Assist to add additional force to your Toyota’s brakes. If you don’t react and hit the brakes, the vehicle may automatically apply the brakes to at least mitigate the impact of the collision.

The second safety feature is Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, taking your cruise control to another level of safety. One of the biggest complaints about cruise control was that while you could adjust your vehicle’s speed while cruising, you could not always maintain a safe distance behind the car in front of you. We have all experienced situations where we are cruising along on the highway when some vehicle gets in front of us and then proceeds to go slow. Previously you had to scramble for the brakes so that you do not have an accident. But Dynamic Radar Cruise Control automatically takes care of this by using radar installed in your Toyota’s front-grille.

If the vehicle in front of you is going slower than your pre-set cruising speed, the system will automatically reduce your speed without turning off cruise control so that you can maintain a safe trailing distance. Once the system detects that the vehicle in front of you has sped up or the lane is clear, it will increase the vehicle’s speed back to the original pre-set level. And when the Dynamic Radar Cruise Control is in use, your vehicle will also engage the Lane Tracing Assist, which employs cameras to keep your Toyota centered in its lane at all times.

A red 2021 Toyota Prius is driving on a city street at night.

But That is Not All

Lane Departure Alert is designed to keep your Toyota in its lane when you are on a marked road. Unfortunately, you may get distracted when you are driving. But Lane Departure Alert makes sure you do not stray into the next lane, especially where crossing the lane involves putting you at risk of colliding with oncoming traffic. If it senses that you are leaving your lane, this system will send out an audio and visual alert so you can get back in the lane.

But there are also two additional components to this system. First, Steering Assist may automatically make small steering adjustments if you unintentionally drift out of the lane. Second, Road Edge Detection makes sure you do not drift off the pavement and onto the curb, sidewalk, or grass. If this occurs, the Steering Assist will make a slight correction to get you back on the road.

The fifth feature is Automatic High Beams. If the sun is going down or you are entering a darker environment, Automatic High Beams will engage to provide you with additional lighting. Best of all, Automatic High Beams will also dim your headlights for oncoming traffic so that you can keep your hands on the wheel.

Finally, your Toyota Safety Sense system can even help you reduce traffic tickets. The Road Sign Assist feature uses a built-in camera to detect traffic signs, including speed limits, yield signs, stop signs, and do not enter signs, and then display them on the dashboard screen. This is especially helpful when driving on unfamiliar roads as it can keep you from missing important signs. Road Sign Assist can also help reduce collisions, especially when it comes to stop signs

Choose Toyota for Safety

Toyota makes some of the safest cars, as shown by how many have been named as IIHS Top Safety Picks. This is the result of careful engineering and the Toyota Safety Sense active safety features. And one of the best things about Toyota is that Toyota Safety Sense is now included as standard equipment on most 2020 Toyota models at no extra charge. Driving Toyota lets you go places safely.

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