The 2013 Toyota Prius--like most Toyotas--comes with a strong body structure and a full set of safety features. It's received respectable safety ratings, including a Top Safety Pick nod from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), with Good ratings in all its test categories. It receives a mix of four- and five-star ratings from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), with a five-star overall rating, under the new and more stringent crash-test procedures it adopted in 2011.
The 2013 Prius comes with seven airbags (the seventh is a driver's knee bag), along with the usual suite of standard electronic safety systems. Those include stability and traction control, anti-lock brakes, and the recently mandated tire-pressure monitors
Rear vision is decent if not spectacular in the 2013 Prius, especially once drivers get used to the horizontal line that appears in the rear-view mirror due to the two-part rear window--an extra piece of visual information in what ought to require no more than a quick glance. The available rear-view camera is a desirable option.
Optional safety equipment includes a lane-departure warning system, radar-based adaptive cruise control, and the Toyota "Safety Connect" system. Among other functions, the Safety Connect software automatically alerts emergency responders in the event of a crash. While newer systems from Ford are rated somewhat better, Toyota offers its own Intelligent Parking Assist, which steers the car into a parallel-parking space. In this case, the driver provides the acceleration and braking while the software steers the car automatically.