IIHS half ton pickup crash tests reveal how safe pickups aren’t

If buying a safe pickup truck is important, than there is only one half ton truck out there to buy. In their most recent series of tests, the IIHS took on the extremely popular half ton pickup market. These tests included the newly added, and most realistic, small overlap crash tests. Of all the models currently on offer, only Ford’s F150 SuperCab and CrewCab received a five star crash rating. Only the F150 was selected by the IIHS as a Top Safety Pick, when equipped with the optional collision braking system.

Results from the IIHS report are telling, however. Many people, yours truly included, consider half ton pickups attractive because of their perceived safety. The visibility, height and stability trucks have given drivers a sense of security while on the road. What most drivers quickly overlook, however, is up until very, very recently, no half tons have performed well in IIHS crash tests. None has received a five star rating since the small overlap test was introduced in 2012. Even brands like Toyota have poor performance in these tests.

Reviewing the results of the most recent IIHS result should give prospective buyers pause. Will your family be riding in this truck? Your significant other? Your children? Other loved ones or dear friends? If you knew the truck was only marginally safe, as scored by the IIHS, would you feel comfortable with any of these people riding in it? In fact, only four of the current models currently available scored “acceptable” or higher in this IIHS test. The official test results chart may frighten the weak of heart.

With so many of the most popular trucks on the market scoring as marginal, and even poor, the question of how safe half ton pickups are should be raised. While many collisions with smaller vehicles would likely be more survivable, crashes with other trucks are still very likely. As are single vehicle collisions with road side obstacles. Safety ratings are an important consideration for new family vehicles, like minivans, and they should be for half ton pickups, too. Manufacturers continue to trump up fuel mileage and cargo capacity, but what about survivability?

Perhaps, now that the market leader is a bonafide IIHS five star safe vehicle, the competition will strive to match it. At the very least, consumers should be asking for a half ton pickup’s safety rating. Perhaps, with their new title, Ford will, at long last, bring the safety discussion into the half ton pickup market. They sure did with high strength aluminum alloy.

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