Pickup trucks coming up short on frontal crash tests

(AP Photo/Andrew Shurtleff)

RUCKERSVILLE, VA (WNCN) – New crash test results show that many pickup trucks might not be as tough as they seem.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, which conducted the tests, find that trucks are coming up short. They tested a group of large 2016 pickups in frontal crashes.

“This vehicle class is not performing as well as we’d like to see,” said Raul Arbelaez, vice president of research for the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. “In many of the crashes, the lower extremity injury measures indicated likelihood of serious injury.”

Specifically, researchers found that situation occurred in the Dodge Ram. That truck is ranked at the bottom of the list, managing a “marginal” ranking. It also earned low marks for roof strength.

About 44% of fatalities in pickups occur in rollover crashes.

The small overlap crash test simulates a car hitting a pole or clipping the corner of an oncoming car at 40 mph, which accounts for about a quarter of all vehicle occupant fatalities.

While the Institute began small overlap testing in 2012, it’s the first time for large pickups with an extended cab or full-size, four-door cab.

Only Ford scored the top “good” rating. The Toyota Tundra Double Cab, along with the two General Motors picks- the Silverado and Sierra Double Cab trucks, scored “acceptable.” All three of their larger siblings fared worse, earning a “marginal” rating.

Todd Lassa, the Detroit Bureau Chief for Automobile Magazine, said that automakers sell safety as a big issue and it’s one of the top reasons people buy certain cars and trucks.

“These tests are important because they are going to be pushing automakers to meet tougher safety standards and create the ability to survive a crash, a hard crash in a number of different situations,” Lasso said.

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