Three out of seven large pickup trucks evaluated by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety in a new round of crash tests earn an acceptable or higher rating for occupant protection in a small overlap front crash.
IIHS evaluated two body styles of each 2016 model-year pickup — crew cab and extended cab. Crew cabs have four full doors and two full rows of seating. Extended cabs have two full front doors, two smaller rear doors and compact second-row seats.
IIHS last year decided it would test the two most popular variants of large pickups instead of just one after discovering that the Ford F-150 extended cab lacked structural countermeasures that helped the crew cab earn the top rating of good in the small overlap test. The test replicates what happens when a vehicle runs off the road and hits a tree or pole or clips another vehicle that has crossed the center line.
Ford improved the 2016 model F-150 SuperCab to clinch a good rating in the small overlap crash test, up from the 2015 model’s marginal rating. The F-150 is the only large pickup in the latest test group to earn the Institute’s top rating in the test. It joins the F-150 SuperCrew in earning a 2016 TOP SAFETY PICK award when equipped with Ford’s optional basic-rated forward collision warning system.
Vehicles that earn a basic rating for front crash prevention plus good ratings in the small overlap front, moderate overlap front, side, roof strength and head restraint evaluations qualify for TOP SAFETY PICK. To qualify for 2016 TOP SAFETY PICK+, a vehicle must earn good ratings in the five crashworthiness tests and an advanced or superior rating for front crash prevention.
The aluminum-body 2015 Ford F-150 crew cab swept the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s full slate of crashworthiness evaluations to qualify for a 2015 TOP SAFETY PICK award. The F-150 extended cab turned in a good performance in 4 of 5 assessments but stumbled in the small overlap front test. The results are the first ratings for large pickups in a group the Institute is evaluating this year.
The F-150 crew cab, which Ford calls the SuperCrew, earns good ratings for occupant protection in all five IIHS crashworthiness evaluations — small overlap front, moderate overlap front, side, roof strength and head restraint evaluations. The extended cab, or SuperCab, earns good ratings in the moderate overlap front, side, roof strength and head restraint evaluations but just a marginal rating for occupant protection in a small overlap front crash.
Drivers of late-model pickup trucks are likely to find themselves squinting into the darkness or temporarily blinding other drivers, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's latest headlight ratings show.
All four small pickups evaluated are available only with headlights that earn a poor rating. The same goes for 3 out of 7 large pickups. Only one large pickup, the Honda Ridgeline, is available with good-rated headlights, though all but the most expensive trim levels come with poor ones.
Pickups are the third vehicle category to be put through the IIHS headlight evaluations. Midsize cars were the first in March, followed by small SUVs in July.
IIHS launched its headlight ratings after finding that government standards based on laboratory tests allow for huge variation in the amount of illumination headlights provide in on-road driving. In the Institute's evaluations, engineers measure how far light is projected from a vehicle's low beams and high beams as the vehicle travels straight and on curves. Glare from low beams for oncoming drivers also is measured.
More states are allowing a relatively new breed of vehicle on public roads, but crash tests by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety show why the mix of low-speed vehicles (LSVs) or minitrucks and regular traffic is a deadly combination. LSVs are designed for tooling around residential neighborhoods, and minitrucks are for hauling cargo off-road. While these vehicles have a lot of appeal as a way to reduce emissions and cut fuel use, they don't have to meet the basic safety standards that cars and pickups do, and they aren't designed to protect their occupants in crashes.
The list of winners of the Institute's TOP SAFETY PICK award is longer than ever this year, with vehicles in nearly every size category the Institute evaluates earning accolades. From minicars to sedans to pickups, consumers have a record number of choices among 2012 models.
In all, 69 cars, 38 SUVs, 5 minivans, and 3 pickups earn TOP SAFETY PICK. The award recognizes vehicles that do the best job of protecting people in front, side, rollover, and rear crashes based on ratings in Institute evaluations. The ratings, which cover all 4 of the most common kinds of crashes, help shoppers pick vehicles that offer the highest levels of crash protection. Because the federal government now requires all 2012 and later passenger vehicles to have electronic stability control to help drivers avoid loss-of-control crashes, ESC no longer is a requirement to win as it was in prior years.
The winners’ circle includes 18 new recipients for 2012, while 97 models that previously qualified for the 2011 award carry over to 2012.
Four out of eight small pickup trucks evaluated by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety earn good ratings for occupant protection in all five IIHS crashworthiness evaluations, but the lack of an automatic emergency braking system and poor-rated headlights means these pickups fall short of qualifying for either of the Institute’s safety awards.
IIHS engineers evaluated two body styles of each pickup — crew cab and extended cab. Crew cabs have four full doors and two full rows of seating. Extended cabs have two full front doors, two smaller rear doors and compact second-row seats. The Institute tests the two most popular versions of pickups because their performance can vary by body style. The ratings in this round of evaluations apply to 2017 models.
Today's SUVs and pickups pose far less risk to people in cars and minivans than previous generations, a new study from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety shows. Until recently, SUVs and pickups were more likely than cars or minivans of the same weight to be involved in crashes that killed occupants of other cars or minivans. That's no longer the case for SUVs, and for pickups the higher risk is much less pronounced than it had been.