Crash Test Ratings – Where Does Your Truck Rate?

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (HIHS) rates crash testing from Good, to Acceptable, to Marginal to Poor. The crash testing they did for small-overlap rating of nine pickup trucks only resulted in one out of eight rating as Good. That was the Ford F-150 Super Cab, with the remaining eight allowing moderate to severe intrusion into the truck cab, especially the lower areas. Acceptable ratings were given to the Chevy Silverado1500 Double Cab, the GMC Sierra 1500 Double Cab and the Toyota Tundra Double Cab, though all three displayed very poor protection to the drivers’ feet and lower legs. Eight out of the nine trucks tested simply did not offer the degree of protection against severe injuries in the foot well area. This could result in extreme debilitating injuries and the use of your legs and feet if an accident occurred.

Some trucks rated what they consider marginal scores. Included in that category are the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Crew Cab, the Toyota Tundra Crew Max, the Ram 1500 Quad Cab and Crew Cab, the GMC Sierra 1500 Crew Cab. Having the worst scores in the test were the Ram 1500 Quad and Crew.

Ford has made some changes with their recent addition of wheel blockers. These are tubular steel assemblies that are attached to the frame both behind and in front of both front wheels. They have done this to both the Super Cab and regular models of the F-150, earning them high praise from the IIHS, and more importantly, the stability factor obviously affected the outcome of the crash testing giving them the best scores. I would want that insurance behind the wheel if an accident occurred.

It’s rather discerning to know that the prettiest package does not always mean the most dependability. Of course, truck owners want great looks and reliable transportation, but these tests are done for a reason. As pickup truck owners, we should not turn a blind eye to the facts that are presented us. Just because we are in a large mass of steel driving down the road does not automatically mean we are exempt from injury if there was a crash. The Ram 1500 Crew Cab and Quad Cab rated a score of Poor in structure and lower leg and foot protection.

Ford is being commended for taking these test crashing results seriously and is leading the way in the full size pickup market when it come to protecting drivers in a range of different crash types. They are also offering advanced technology to warn drivers of imminent frontal crashes. Ford also received a five-star rating, which is the highest possible score, on its 2015 F-150. They beat their own records in spite of converting from the steel-bodied truck to the aluminum-bodied pickup. The steel body pickup truck, which was Ford’s traditional model, only received a four-start overall rating from the National Highway Safety Traffic Administration. The NHTSA is the government safety agency that regulates the auto industry and keeps them accountable. They changed their criteria back in 2011 to make the top score of a five-star rating more difficult to achieve. Therefore, when a manufacturer achieves it, there is no denying the impact and credibility that it delivers to their industry reputation.

I believe there are many good trucks out there that come very close to the Ford in safety ratings. As an owner of a vehicle, it just makes good sense to pay attention to the safety ratings and actual crash testing results of the truck you are currently driving or thinking of purchasing. Do some research on your own, keeping in mind that a salesman is trying to sell you a truck. They may not have all their facts correct, or they may be just trying to make a sale by pumping up their brand. For sure, knowledge is power, and in this case, safety.

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