Which trucks performed best in upgraded side-impact safety tests?

Which trucks hold up in a worst case scenario and have the best chance at keeping your loved ones safe.

Six trucks were included in recent tests by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, and most of the trucks tested had positive outcomes.

The Chevrolet Colorado crew cab, GMC Canyon crew cab and Honda Ridgeline crew cab earned good ratings.

In order to receive a “Good” rating, a vehicle’s basic interior structure needed to hold up well. The post-crash condition of two crash-test dummies should indicate a low likelihood of severe or fatal injuries. All three trucks did show a likelihood of a pelvic fracture for the driver.

For this year’s test, the crash test dummies were in the driver’s seat and the rear seat directly behind the driver. The size of the dummies simulated a small woman or a 12-year-old child.

Changes were made to the side crash test after research showed that this type of crash accounts for about a quarter of vehicle fatalities.

New testing used a 4,200-pound sled moving at 37 mph, so the crash forces are much more extreme. The previous version of the side impact test used a 3,300-pound sled traveling at 31 mph.

The Nissan Frontier crew cab and Ford Ranger crew cab were rated acceptable.

The Frontier’s structure held up the best out of all six trucks, but the dummy’s heads in both “acceptable” trucks hit a rear seat support beam through the side curtain airbag.

The Toyota Tacoma crew cab was rated marginal because the structure and safety cage were not maintained as a result of the impact.

The automakers have known since 2018 that IIHS’s standard side impact test would become more strict to make vehicles safer, but many models put through the test so far were developed too recently to be engineered to meet these standards.


About the Author:

Amanda DeVoe joined the News4JAX team in March 2022 as a morning news and traffic anchor