What makes a vehicle safe? Two national organizations do exhaustive testing to decide. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration uses a five-star rating system. Strictly a private organization, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety rates vehicles by class on its Top Safety Pick list.

In choosing the safest cars and SUVs, you have to look beneath the overall rating to see which ones achieved good ratings across the board, and if you we’re to ever experience an accident involving a vehicle, you should learn about your legal rights. Requirements change so fast that a five-star evaluation from two years ago may be the equivalent of a four-star evaluation today. Complicating matters further for safety-conscious shoppers, you may find that a model earns the best IIHS rating but falls short on the NHTSA rating. Still, you can find a few that rise above the rest.

Honda Civic

Many 2016 smaller cars don’t earn a five-star rating or a Top Safety Pick Plus. Yet the 2016 Honda Civic has both top ratings. In federal tests, it got five stars in every category. At the IIHS, the small car achieved a good in each test. Honda utilizes an ACE structure that helps protect against jarring. The steel cage around the passengers actually moves dangerous energy away, channeling the force and reducing its power. Steel bars in the doors protect the driver and passengers against side intrusions. If you want a forward collision warning and lane watch, you can find it here.

Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class

SUVs often have a hard time making good grades in crash testing. They tend to fall short in at least one IIHS category. The 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLE Class, on the other hand, scored a Good every time. This is representative of this luxury brand’s overall high marks for safety. Since the customer pays a lot more, shoppers should expect more. To earn its high price tag, the brand often leads the way in safety. Mercedes-Benz was among the first to offer a driver drowsiness monitor. Its night vision can identify people and animals along the roadway. The GLE Class has an advanced rating for its Forward Collision System Plus. The frontal collision warning is strengthened by both a low-speed and high-speed autobrake. If you are looking for an NHTSA rating, you won’t find it here since most luxury vehicles aren’t subject to federal tests.

Subaru Legacy

Among affordable midsized sedans, the 2016 Subaru Legacy is a top safety expert, per its stellar scores. It earned all five stars in every NHTSA test and a good in each IIHS test. The Subaru forward collision system earned even more points than the Mercedes-Benz GLE Class. It holds an IIHS superior ranking for prevention capability. The optional Eyesight system reduces the throttle if it spies stopping traffic. It also utilizes pre-collision braking to mitigate damage. EyeSight also includes technology to warn the driver about lane departures and to assist with keeping the vehicle straight in its lane.

No car can promise to prevent accidents altogether or to prevent injuries completely. These three, however, are examples of the best efforts by today’s manufacturers