The 2011 BMW 5-Series hasn't been crash-tested by either NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration). And since it's been completely redesigned, with an all-new structure compared to the outgoing version, any previous crash-test results wouldn't apply. However, the IIHS (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety) has released its verdict--and it's awarded the 2011 5-Series sedan its Top Safety Pick designation.
That said, the BMW 5-Series has a reputation for being strong in the safety features area. The 5-Series came with stability control long before most vehicles offered it, and BMW has perfected this feature so that it will intervene unobtrusively and only when necessary.
In addition to the usual roster of airbags, rear side bags are optional, and the 5-Series has a number of high-tech safety extras. The brakes now have composite front rotors, and electronic aids such as Brake Fade Compensation, Brake Standby, and Brake Drying help performance in certain situations. Other items on the 5-Series' long options list include an Active Blind Spot Detection, a Lane Departure Warning system, Xenon Adaptive Headlights with automatic high beams, and a new second-generation night-vision system with pedestrian detection.