The all-aluminum Ford F-150 was awarded a top safety pick award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety after receiving the best ratings in a very specifc front crash test.
The F-150 beat out pickups from Toyota and General Motors. Scoring worst on the list was Fiat Chrysler’s Ram 1500 pickup.
Every truck was put through the same group of crash tests, including the small overlap crash test. In that test, a vehicle hits a barrier at 40 miles per hour with just the left quarter of its front bumper, sending the impact directly to the driver’s seat.
Only the F-150 earned the top rating of “good” in that test, some trucks by GM and Toyota earned “acceptable” ratings.
Toyota and GM trucks with bigger cabs earned the second-worst rating of “marginal,” as did two types of Ram trucks made by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.
The “acceptable” rating went to the double cab Toyota Tundra and Chevrolet Silverado. The Tundra CrewMax and the Silverado Crew Cab earned “marginal” rating.
The Quad Cab and Crew Cab versions of the Ram 1500 both earned “marginal” overall ratings, but “poor” ratings for structural integrity.
Fiat Chrysler said in a statement that the test was too marginal.
“Our vehicles are designed for real-world performance and no single test determines overall, real-world vehicle safety,” the automaker said in a statement. “Every FCA US vehicle meets or exceeds all applicable motor-vehicle safety standards.”
The driver’s foot space was found to be crushed in towards the driver in all test except for the Ford F-150.
“Drivers in these pickups would need help freeing their legs from the wreckage following a small overlap crash,” said Raul Arbelaez, vice president of the insurance institute’s Vehicle Research Center.
“We encourage manufacturers to redesign their pickups to resist intrusion in the lower occupant compartment to safeguard people from serious leg and foot injuries that might require months of rehabilitation,” he added.
In perhaps the most terrifying part of the company’s research, they found that pickup truck drivers and their occupants are less likely to use seat belts than drivers of other vehicles.