A record number of new vehicles have been awarded top marks from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, with Honda seeing the most improvement among major automakers.

Since 2006, the Virginia-based non-profit organization has compiled an annual list of the vehicles that merit its "Top Safety Pick" award.

To qualify for the award this year, the IIHS said a vehicle had to offer the highest levels of protection for front, side, rollover and rear crashes.

After analyzing the current crop of new models, the IIHS awarded 115 vehicles with a "Top Safety Pick" designation. That topped the previous record of 66 vehicles, which was set last year.

"For the second year running a record number of models qualify," said Adrian Lund, the president of the IIHS.

"It's tough to win, and we commend auto manufacturers for making safety a top priority."

Sixty-nine cars, 38 SUVs, five minivans and 3 pickup trucks earned the IIHS safety award.

IIHS spokesperson Russ Rader said consumers currently have an abundance of options when trying to find a new vehicle that will keep them safe.

"Whether you are in the market for a small car, an SUV, or a minivan, you can find one that is going to do a good job or protecting your family," Rader told CTV's Canada AM on Thursday morning from Washington.

Every major automaker won at least one "Top Safety Pick" this year, and Subaru was the sole manufacturer to win an award for every one of its models. Toyota led all manufacturers with 15 of its models winning safety awards from the IIHS.

Rader said Honda models made up most of the new entries to the 2011 list.

"Honda is really the most improved. Ten of the 18 new vehicles on the list are Honda or Acura models and their engineers went to the drawing board and improved the roofs to do better in rollover crashes," he said.