Pickup trucks, like sedans, have evolved over the years, but in the safety category, they have notoriously lagged behind. It's not because manufacturers want to create a vehicle that is not as safe as a sedan, but it's because of the of the way a truck is built. Trucks are made to work, which means a unibody isn't the best design. The drivetrain is supported by the frame, and the body sits on top of the frame, so the impact from frontal crashes is not completely stopped before it hits the cab. However, there are some safe trucks on the market. Here's what you need to know.
Pickup Truck Safety
Most trucks now come standard with electronic stability control and side airbags, which make them safer. It has been shown that electronic stability control has prevented many accidents, including in pickup trucks. But, because they are big and made to be strong enough to haul a good-sized payload, they are less likely to crumble. The biggest danger is when the truck wrecks with a smaller vehicle because the truck is so much larger, it could demolish a smaller sedan.
The Safest Trucks
The safest trucks have received the highest rating of Top Safety Pick on the IIHS rating scale, but do not receive the TSP Plus rating. Most trucks do not come with the newest technology such as forward crash mitigation so are not eligible for the Plus rating. However, because trucks are safe — safer than in past years — some of the trucks have received top rating, including:
Ford F-150. Top Safety Pick for 2009 and 2011 crew cab models, 2012 and 2015 crew cab models and 2015 SuperCrew model.
Toyota Tundra. The extended cab models for 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012 and 2013 received Top Safety Pick.
Honda Ridgeline. Won Top Safety Pick in 2009, 2012 and 2013. The Ridgeline also won the IIHS Top Safety Pick Plus for 2017.
It is expected that other manufacturers will follow suit by adding more safety features. The current F-150 passed the IIHS small-overlap frontal impact test, the most difficult crash test to pass, with the high score of “Good.” The 2016 Toyota Tundra, 2016 GMC Sierra, and 2016 Chevrolet Silverado passed with an “Acceptable” rating.
It has been found that the four-door cab style is safer than a two-door cab style. The longer cabs did much better in crash tests. Many trucks are available at Chillicothe Truck and Accessories, including those with longer cabs and safer ratings.
Trucks with New Technology
Honda is one of the only trucks with crash avoidance protection, though it comes as an option. In 2016, just 30 percent of those who bought the Ridgeline model opted for the driver assistance technologies. The RTL-E and the Black Edition models come with radar-guided cruise control, forward collision protection and lane keep assist. Honda expects to add the technology to other Ridgeline trim levels in the future.
Visit Chillicothe Truck and Accessories
If you are in the market for a new-to-you used truck that has better safety ratings, visit Chillicothe Truck and Accessories to test drive a Honda Ridgeline, Toyota Tundra or Ford F-150 today.