Top picks for safest vehicles for 2014

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety just named its Top Safety Picks based on crash tests and crash prevention technology. The independent, nonprofit educational organization used a new criteria in its safety awards this year and created a new category called TOP SAFETY PICK+ in addition to it's regular TOP SAFEY PICK category.

TOP SAFETY PICK requires good performance in small and moderate overlap front and side crash tests, roof strength tests and head restraint tests. TOP SAFETY PICK+ adds an additional leval of performance for front crash prevention.

Among the safest small cars for 2014: Honda Civic Hybrid, Mazda 3 models built after October 2013 and Toyota Prius models built after November 2013.

Safest moderately priced mid-sized models include the Ford Fusion, the Honda Accord, the Mazda 6 and the Outback and Legacy by Subaru. The complete list of vehicles to receive both categories can be found on the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety website.