Four popular pickup trucks do a poor job of protecting rear-seat passengers in some crashes, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
For the 2023 model year, the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Crew Cab, Ford F-150 Crew Cab, Ram 1500 Crew Cab, and Toyota Tundra Crew Cab all came up short in extended tests conducted by the organization, which assesses the impact of crashes on rear occupants when vehicles are hit from the side or front.
The IIHS expanded the test after research showed that the risk of fatal injury in newer vehicles is now greater for people in the second row than for those in the front. The front seat has become safer due to improvements in airbags and seat belts, which are not typically available in the back.
But rear restraint systems are inadequate, according to the institute, a nonprofit organization supported by insurance companies that focuses on reducing injuries and deaths from vehicle crashes.
The F-150, Ram 1500 and Silverado are rated as poor in protecting rear seat passengers. The IIHS rates the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 crew cab as “acceptable” for keeping rear passengers safe. All four trucks provide good protection at the front, the institute found.
For a vehicle to earn a Good rating, crash tests must show there is no excessive risk of injury to the head, neck, chest or thigh of a second-row occupant, the IIHS said. Dummies used in the tests should also remain properly positioned without sliding forward under the lap belt, increasing the risk of abdominal injuries, while the head must remain a safe distance from the front seatback.
“Like most other vehicle classes, large pickups do not perform as well in the new moderate overlap evaluation as they do in the updated side test,” IIHS President David Harkey said Tuesday in a statement announcing the organization’s latest crash tests. find.
“We routinely consider third-party reviews and incorporate them into our product development process, as appropriate,” Eric Mayne, a spokesman for Ram manufacturer Stellantis, said in a statement. “We engineer our vehicles for real-world performance. The protection of our customers is an integral part of the pre-design of a vehicle’s structure. Every Stellantis model meets or exceeds all applicable federal vehicle safety standards.”
Spokesmen for General Motors and Toyota did not immediately respond to requests for comment. A spokesman for Ford could not immediately be reached.
After an increase during the pandemic, the number of traffic fatalities is down in 2023, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. About 19,515 people died in car crashes in the first half of the year, down from 20,190 in the same period last year.