Pickup Truck Crash Tests: Passengers May be Less Safe

Marco Green
March 22, 2019

The issue is IIHS' passenger-side small front overlap crash test, a newer test most trucks haven't been subjected to until now.

Consumer Reports has dropped the Toyota Tundra from its list of recommended full-size trucks after it put in a bad showing during the latest round of Insurance Institute for Highway Safety crash tests.

The popular ford F-150 was one of the top performers out of eleven pickups tested in passenger side crashes.

"In general, the pickup truck class of vehicles is not doing as good a job protecting right front passengers as other classes of vehicles", said David Zuby, IIHS chief research officer. Even its record is full of blemishes including an "Acceptable" rating in the challenging small-overlap test and "Marginal" ratings for the effectiveness of its seatbelts and an elevated risk of lower leg and foot injury.

The IIHS said part of the problem is that some pickups have older designs that did not emphasize front seat passenger protection to the degree it's expected today.

IIHS, which crash-tests vehicles to different standards than the US government's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, has been performing the driver-side small overlap front test since 2012 and added the passenger-side test to the list in 2017. "For instance, in the most recent results, only about half of the pickup trucks have an Acceptable or better rating for structure holding up in this kind of a crash, and only three of them earn a Good rating overall".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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