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Here's Another Reason To Love Pickup Trucks

Industry News / 4 Comments

Great value, practical, and now safer than ever.

Pickup trucks continue to be the best-selling vehicles in the United States. In fact, trucks are now becoming so popular, many people are swapping out their luxury sedans for high trim pickups. As pickup trucks continue to become more car-like and more luxurious, this trend will inevitably continue and the luxury market may eventually be threatened.

Now, consumers may have yet another reason to swap out their luxury cars for pickup trucks. Although trucks are now extremely luxurious, safety is still a big concern. Even just a few years ago, many pick trucks were not safe to crash but automakers have been making huge strides to change that.

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Pickup trucks have an advantage in a crash due to their mass, though their structural integrity hasn't always been acceptable. However, the IIHS just performed crash tests for the 2019 RAm 1500 Crew Cab - amazingly, the Ram earned good ratings in all six tests. "Pickup trucks are definitely improving," said Becky Mueller, a senior research engineer with IIHS in an interview with Automotive News.

"When we first started testing, everybody was in the 'marginal' or 'poor' rating, but it's a challenge for automakers because these vehicles are so big and their passenger compartments are so concentrated," she added.

The small overlap test has been one of the toughest challenges for pickup trucks. In the test, a vehicle needs to hit an object only partially, avoiding much of the car's vital crash structure. Ford passed the test by installing wheel blockers on the frame of the F-150, which redirect energy away from the cabin. The 2019 Ram 1500 also has wheel blockers as well as a more spread out frame.

According to the IIHS, the Nissan Titan and Toyota Tundra have also made similar changes, as have the 2019 GM trucks, which have yet to be tested. As a whole, pickup trucks are getting much safer, which should be good news for buyers.