The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety announced that the 2010 Ford Taurus is the institute's latest Top Safety Pick award winner.

To qualify for Top Safety Pick, a vehicle must earn the highest rating of "good" in the institute's front, side and rear crash tests and be equipped with electronic stability control.

Electronic stability control is standard on the 2010 Taurus.

Criteria for the award are tough because the award is intended to drive continued safety improvements, the institute said.

"Recognizing vehicles at the head of the class for safety helps consumers distinguish the best overall choices without having to sort through multiple test results," said Institute President Adrian Lund.