The Blue Oval has the safety bragging rights.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) performs the most stringent crash tests in the country, so achieving a good score there is a pretty noteworthy achievement. Because of the thorough evaluation of cars in many possible crash scenarios, few vehicles manage to achieve the best possible scores, but for those that do, the bragging rights are worth their weight in gold. Sadly, American cars haven't been particularly good performers in the past, but every automaker is looking to improve itself, and Ford is among them. Its F-150 missed out on a Top Safety Pick award last year due to poor headlights, but improvements have seen the truck finally achieve a great score, making it only the second full-size truck in 2021 to do so.
The only other American pickup to achieve this was the Ram 1500. Unfortunately, Ford's improvements to its F-150 were not enough to snag the highest possible rating of a Top Safety Pick+ award. This is because the updated headlights offered on the 2021 F-150 are not a standard feature across the entire trim range. Nevertheless, the F-150's achievements are nothing to sniff at, as all Top Safety Pick award winners must be rated as 'Good' or better in all six of the IIHS test it undertakes, most tricky of which to excel in are the small and moderate overlap crash tests.
In addition to the above criteria, the vehicle must also have the option of a crash prevention system, with this required to achieve a score of either 'Advanced' or 'Superior' in scenarios with both other pedestrians and other vehicles.
It's good news to see Ford bringing the F-150 up to speed in terms of safety and will help America's most popular truck become even harder for buyers to ignore. Ford hasn't only worked on the headlights either, having scrapped inflatable seatbelts as an option for the 2021 model year in favor of more common pre-tensioners and load limiters which are now standard.