The 2010 Ford Mustang (Coupe only) has earned the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's 5-star rating in the agency's latest round of testing, cementing the Blue Oval's position as industry leader when it comes to safety. The latest results include top scores for both the driver and passenger in front and side crash tests, as well as for rollover performance.

The Mustang’s considerable body stiffness contributes to the car’s driving performance but this also has a parallel benefit in accident protection. While the new Coupe structure is approximately 31% stiffer than the previous Mustang platform, the convertible’s is more than twice as stiff – creating a structure that helps protect the cabin from deformation and intrusion during an impact.

The key is the use of high strength steel in the body structure and ultra high strength steel in the door intrusion beams for additional side impact protection. Other important features include special octagonal shape front rails to help spread crash forces evenly, Ford’s SYNC 911 Assist, standard AdvanceTrac electronic stability control, dual-stage airbags, and safety belt pretensioners.

Incidentally, when it comes to safety, Ford (and its Lincoln and Mercury subsidiaries) is one of the leaders in the industry. Last year Ford topped the list of carmakers with the highest number of Top Safety Pick awards from rival safety board, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), and the carmaker has announced that it also has more NHSTA rated 5-star vehicles than any other brand.