• Image Credit: Chrysler

2013 Safest Minivans For Families

It may seem odd, but Halloween is becoming one of the most dangerous days on the roads. Accidents caused by drinking and driving around the holiday are up, and a new study by State Farm and Sperling's Best Places shows the day is deadliest for child pedestrians.

Drunk driving accidents are the biggest concern for families who may be driving their tots around after a fun evening of trick-or-treating. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says 40% of all car accident fatalities on Halloween are caused by drunk drivers.

So we here at AOL Autos thought it was time to take a look at the safest cars you can carry your family in -- the minivan. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tested each of these cars for their performance in high-speed frontal and side crash tests, a rollover test and evaluations of seat and head restraints for neck injuries in rear impact crashes.

  • Image Credit: Toyota

Volkswagen Routan

MSRP: $27,020 - $44,280
Invoice: $25,912 - $42,465
Fuel Economy: 17 mpg City, 25 mpg Highway

The VW Routan has gotten the IIHS's highest rating in every category in every test conducted on the car since 2009.

Besides being structurally sound, the minivan also comes with a number of features that help keep occupants safe. It comes with stability control and traction control, both which keep the car well-grounded and prevent it from tipping over. It has front, rear and third row head airbags, and a tire pressure monitoring system that helps drivers know when their tires might need air.

The VW Routan is essentially a re-badged, slightly tinkered Chrysler Town and Country. Given the popularity of those minivans, you'd think the Routan would be faring better in the marketplace. But the car just hasn't caught on. VW doesn't market it much either, so awareness of the VW is low.

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Honda Odyssey

MSRP: $28,575 - $43,925
Invoice: $26,138 - $40,139
Fuel Economy: 18 mpg City, 27 mpg Highway

Honda was one of the first automakers to realize drivers with families were very interested in having safe cars. So they started putting as many safety features on their vehicles as standard equipment - meaning buyers wouldn't have to pay more - as they possibly could. That move has resulted in a well-earned reputation for safety.

The Odyssey is one of the IIHS top picks for minivans. Additionally, 2011 model year Odysseys and younger are the only minivans to get a 5-star overall rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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Chrysler Town & Country

MSRP: $29,995 - $39,995
Invoice: $28,735 - $37,935
Fuel Economy: 17 mpg City, 25 mpg Highway

The almost twin minivans from Dodge and Chrysler offer seven airbags and employ 8 different crush zones to keep occupants safe in the event of a crash.

The minivans also offer electronic stability control and other accident avoidant measures, because the best defense against fatal crashes is to never crash in the first place.

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