The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has named the Chevy Volt and the Nissan Leaf as a 2011 Top Safety Pick. These two electrified vehicles performed well in several safety tests.

Both the Volt and the Leaf exhibited excellent performance in front, side and rear collision tests. The vehicles also scored well in the rollover crash protection category thanks to the standard electronic stability control systems installed on both vehicles.

Although both the Volt and Leaf are considered small cars, they weigh more than other similarly sized vehicles due to the battery packs. This increase in weight can actually have a positive effect on the vehicle’s performance in a collision.

“For years the debate over fuel economy has been about making cars smaller and lighter, changes that could put people at greater risk of dying or being injured in crashes. The Institute long has maintained that advanced technology is key to improving fuel efficiency without downgrading safety.” Source: IIHS

General Motors now has 12 2011 Top Safety Picks and Nissan has three awards to its name. There are currently 80 vehicles on the 2011 list including seven hybrids. View the entire list of 2011 Top Safety Pick winners on the IIHS website.