A detailed crash test showed which of seven popular pickups is the safest to be in in case of a front-end collision. According to a report released by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety on Apr. 12, America’s safest pickup truck is Ford F-150 SuperCab.
The aluminum-body vehicle scored lowest on the test measuring the risk of lower foot and leg injuries in the wake of a collision. The IIHS, which releases vehicle safety reports every year, awarded the top safety rating to Ford F-150 full-size pickup truck.
By contrast, Chrysler’s Crew Cab and Ram 1500 Quad Cab fared the worst in front-crash tests, getting the lowest scores for structure and risk of foot, ankle, and leg injuries.
The recent award is unexpected news for Ford, whose extended-cab version of F-150 SuperCab was severely criticized for the lack of some safety measures last year.
Ford said that it has greatly improved the SuperCab since 2015. The automaker reportedly added reinforcements to the truck’s rocker cabs and nylon hinge pillars along with wheel blockers, improvements which helped the vehicle get a top score in this year’s crash scenarios.
Yet, the IIHS’ ratings may have limitations because the group tested only the top-selling models. Plus, the institute acknowledged that the crash scenarios almost never happen in real life situations, such as a crash against a pole or tree on the driver’s side. Pickups are usually involved only in small overlap crashes, which are the cause of 25 percent of fatalities or serious injuries in frontal collisions.
Raul Arbelaez, VP of the group’s Vehicle Research Center, noted that Ford beats other pickup makers when it comes to passenger safety. Plus, the Michigan-based company also developed a system to warn drivers beforehand when a frontal crash is about to occur.
Arbelaez added that the poor scores from last year’s crash tests must have motivated Ford to revamp the protection for its SuperCab line. Other car makers upgrade their vehicles to gain better IIHS ratings every year while customers sift through these ratings when they plan to buy a new car.
Raj Nair, CTO at Ford and executive vice president, said that engineers had planned from day one to make F-150 the ‘best-in-class.’
The IIHS tested 9 truck cab versions. Most of the vehicles had top scores in chest, hip, head and neck injuries. But only F-150 got a top rating for lower body injury risk.
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