The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has reported that four large pickup trucks performed poorly in protecting back seat passengers in updated moderate overlap front crash tests, as per a recent Reuters report. Here’s a summary of the findings and the responses from the automakers:
1. 2023 Stellantis Ram 1500 crew cab: Rated poorly in the updated moderate overlap front crash test.
2. 2023 Ford F-150 crew cab: Rated poorly in the updated moderate overlap front crash test.
3. 2023 General Motors Chevrolet Silverado 1500: Rated poorly in the updated moderate overlap front crash test.
4. 2023 Toyota Tundra crew cab: Received a marginal rating in the updated moderate overlap front crash test.

These tests measure how back seat passengers fare in certain crash scenarios. Large pickup trucks tend to perform better in updated side tests than in the new moderate overlap evaluation. The research showed that the risk of a fatal injury is higher for belted occupants in the second row of newer pickup trucks than in the front seats. While front seat safety has improved with advanced airbags and seat belts, the back seat restraint systems in these trucks were found to be inadequate.
In response to the findings, Toyota declined to comment. General Motors acknowledged the new rear seat test protocols by IIHS and expressed confidence in the overall safety and crash-worthiness of their Chevy Silverado crew cab. Ford noted the recent test changes and emphasised that safety is a top priority. Stellantis mentioned that they routinely consider third-party ratings and factor them into their product development process as appropriate.

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The IIHS introduced the updated side test to address higher-speed crashes that still cause fatalities. This new test uses a heavier barrier traveling at a higher speed to simulate the striking vehicle. It’s worth noting that traffic deaths saw a sharp increase during the COVID-19 pandemic and remain higher than pre-pandemic levels. In 2021, a significant percentage of pickup truck drivers who were killed in traffic crashes were unrestrained, which is a cause for concern.

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