Large Pickups Disappoint in Rear Passenger Safety

Nov. 8, 2023
In recent tests conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, four pickup trucks were found to have strong protection in side crashes while failing to protect passengers in the back seat.

In recent tests conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), four pickup trucks were found to have strong protection in side crashes while failing to protect passengers in the back seat.

2023 models of the Ram 1500 crew cab, Ford F-150 crew cab, and Toyota Tundra crew cab all received good ratings in IIHS’s updated side crash test, with the 2023 Chevrolet Silverado crew cab 1500 earning an acceptable rating. 

The updated moderate overlap front crash test, which prioritizes back seat safety, saw the Tundra earning only a marginal rating, while the F-150, Ram 1500, and Silverado were all rated as poor.

In the updated moderate overlap front test, a second dummy, the size of a small woman or 12-year-old child, is placed in the second row behind the driver dummy, which is about the size of an average man.

While all four of the pickups had good protection for the front seat, the restraint systems in the rear were found to be inadequate. Submarining was an issue found in each vehicle, and belt forces were too high in each truck, save the Tundra.

Measurements taken from the rear dummy revealed that injuries to the chest, head, or neck would be likely in the F-150 and Ram 1500. In the Silverado, the risk was relatively lower but still high. In the Tundra, poor belt positioning presents a high risk for chest injury, though the risk of head or neck injuries was just slightly higher.

In the updated side test, a high-speed crash is simulated to discover what fatalities can be caused and how to prevent them.

The F-150, Ram 1500, and Tundra offered protection in the front and back–however, the occupant compartment of the F-150 was slightly affected by the impact. The Silverado saw an elevated risk of chest injury to the rear passenger.

About the Author

FenderBender Staff Reporters

The FenderBender staff reporters have a combined two-plus decades of journalism and collision repair experience.

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