Ford F-150 and Ram 1500 on Opposite Ends of Crash Test Ratings

Ram 1500 (left) and Ford F-150 after IIHS small overlap front crash test (Photo courtesy IIHS)

Ram 1500 (left) and Ford F-150 after IIHS small overlap front crash test (Photo courtesy IIHS)

The bigger the truck, the safer the truck. Right?

We assume the big pickups on the road are some of the safest automobiles available, and that a collision between one and a midsize sedan would end quite poorly for the sedan.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety recently conducted tests of some of the big rigs, and the results are surprising. It turns out we’re right to assume that the big pickups are safe, as long as we’re referring to Ford trucks.

The IIHS yesterday published its annual small-overlap frontal crash test ratings, and the F-150 SuperCab was the only model to earn the highest rating of Good across the board. The Ram 1500 Quad Cab and Crew Cab, by contrast, earned the worst marks, including the worst possible rating for its structure and lower leg and foot injury measures.

Raul Arbelaez, vice president of the IIHS’s Vehicle Research Center, said,

Ford is leading the way among large pickup manufacturers when it comes to protecting people in a range of crashes and offering technology to warn drivers of imminent frontal crashes. We commend Ford for taking last year’s test results to heart and upgrading protection for SuperCab occupants in small overlap crashes.

Ram truck sales are on an upswing, partly in thanks to lower fuel prices. Its performance in these tests, though, might cause some folks to rethink their purchase.

Ram spokesman Eric Mayne said,

Our vehicles are designed for real-world performance and no single test determines overall, real-world vehicle safety.

He’s right, but the IIHS’s small-overlap frontal crash test simulates a type of collision that accounts for about 25 percent of the serious injuries and deaths that occur in frontal impacts.

Automakers routinely use the IIHS test results to refine and improve their vehicles, and it seems that Ram has a lot of redesigning in its not-so-distant future.

Other trucks, including the Chevrolet Silverado 1500, GMC Sierra 1500, and Toyota Tundra extended-cab models earned ratings that ranged between Acceptable and Marginal, though all but the Ford scored Poor in the lower leg and foot category.

Do crash test ratings impact your decision to buy a certain car or truck?

-tgriffith

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