2012 Dodge Durango was named Top Safety Pick by IIHS image

Chrysler on Wednesday announced that its 2012 Dodge Durango has been named a “Top Safety Pick” for 2011 by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

The Top Safety Pick designation is given to those vehicles that do the best job of protecting drivers and passengers in front, side, rollover, and rear crashes based on “good” ratings in IIHS tests – the organization’s highest rating.

In addition, the winning vehicles must offer electronic stability control. This requirement is based on Institute research indicating that ESC significantly reduces crash risk, especially the risk of fatal single-vehicle crashes, by helping drivers maintain control of their vehicles during emergency maneuvers.

For 2012, Durango offers consumers 45 safety and security features, including standard Electronic Stability Control, which delivers three security features to improve overall vehicle stability both on- and off-road. It comes with electronic roll mitigation (ERM), which reacts and applies brakes during extreme situations, and Hill-start Assist (HSA), which works with standard Trailer-sway Control (TSC) to enhance off-road and towing capabilities.

Other safety features include Blind Spot Monitoring (BSM) and Rear Cross Path (RCP) detection, which aid drivers when they’re changing lanes or parking.

Last week the 2011 Grand Cherokee has earned the Top Safety Pick award from IIHS, but the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has not yet rated the Jeep fully, though it’s assigned a four-star rating to it for front-impact protection.