ROCHESTER, N.Y. – When you’re purchasing a new vehicle, safety is often a top priority. Most consumers would agree ‘bigger is often safer’ but if you’re looking at pickup trucks, the general rule doesn’t always apply.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), only one truck earned a “good” crash test rating. The test is called a “small-overlap test,” which simulates a front-end wreck at a speed of 40 mph.
Safety experts at the institute said Ford’s F-150 pickup was the only model to completely pass the test. Ford’s competitors like the Chevy Silverado 1500 and Toyota Tundra received mixed reviews while Dodge Ram pickups were rated “marginal,” which is a nice word for nearly a failure.
Rochester car accident attorneys at Cellino & Barnes say the new crash ratings should be concerning for pickup drivers.
“Pickup trucks are often marketed as some of the safest personal vehicles on the market in Rochester,” car accident attorney Ross Cellino said. “But most models have room for improvement and some safety gaps could lead to serious injuries.”
IIHS safety experts said both consumers and businesses should carefully consider their test results before purchasing a new vehicle or fleet.
According to the crash test results, Ram trucks had several red flags.
In multiple tests, parts of the trucks’ structure punched nearly two feet into the cabin.
“Drivers in these pickups would need help freeing their legs from the wreckage following a small overlap crash,” a top IIHS researcher said. “We encourage manufacturers to redesign their pickups to resist intrusion in the lower occupant compartment to safeguard people from serious leg and foot injuries that might require months of rehabilitation.”
Researchers also tested roof strength of each truck.
“Roof strength should be a vital safety component of any pickup truck,” Cellino said. “Rollovers currently cause nearly half of the occupant deaths in pickups.”
Unfortunately, roof safety was also widely varied from truck to truck.
Fords, Chevys, GMCs, and the Toyota Tundra extended cab had “good” ratings for roof strength. Once again, the Ram models did not pass the test with flying colors.
Although all the vehicles tested meet federal safety standards, Rochester car accident attorneys say there is clearly room for improvement.
Watch the video to see the crash tests in action.