Consumer Report found that most pickup trucks fall below a recommended safety score for passengers. If your family fleet includes a pickup truck, your children or any backseat passengers could be at risk.
A closer look at the ratings
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) independently crash-test vehicles and rank them based on certain scores. They are usually ranked from Good, Acceptable, Marginal to Poor.
The only pickup trucks that qualified for the highest "Good" rating included the following:
- Ford F-150
- Nissan Titan
- Ram 1500
Consumer Reports combines these ratings to create their own recommendation. The only trucks to receive the highest Consumer Report rating included the full-sized Ford F150, and the Honda Ridgeline but only when the customer also purchased the superior headlights and advanced automated driver assistance systems.
The IIHS highest-rated compact truck only received a second-to-best "Acceptable" rating. It was the Toyota Tacoma. The following compact trucks received a "Marginal" rating:
- Chevrolet Colorado
- GMC Canyon
- Nissan Frontier
The lowest-rated truck for crash passenger safety was the Toyota Tundra with a "Poor" rating.
How can you make your pickup truck safer?
Although you cannot change your vehicle's safety rating, it is possible to do more to protect your passengers. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends the following to help keep children safe in pickup trucks:
- Always buckle children into their safety seat that is appropriate for use in pickup trucks. Add a top tether to forward-facing seats.
- Only place infants in the front passenger seat in a rear-facing safety seat when airbags are switched off.
- Do not allow passengers to ever ride in the cargo area. Instruct teenagers not to allow their friends to ride in the cargo area.
Although nothing can make a vehicle 100% safe, consumers have a right to expect auto manufacturers to do what they can to improve known safety hazards. If you are injured in a crash as a result of poor safety measures, you may be entitled to compensation.