The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has recently published their top rated vehicles for 2011. If you are in the market for a new or used vehicle, make sure you check out the safety ratings before you buy.

The Institute rates vehicles on how well they protect its occupants in a crash. The vehicles are given ratings such as good, acceptable, marginal, or poor based on performance in high-speed front and side crash tests, a rollover test, and evaluations of seat/head restraints for protection against neck injuries in rear impacts. In order to earn a Top Safety Pick for 2011 a vehicle must have good ratings in all four Institute tests. In addition, the winning vehicles must offer electronic stability control. Remember, the life you save may be your own!