Science and technology have led to many life-saving innovations, including in automobiles. The NHTSA says that new vehicles are safer than ever, which is great news for consumers. Driver-assisting technologies such as cameras and warning indicators are becoming more common, improving the overall structural integrity of our vehicles and increasing the safety of newer vehicles.
However, just because vehicles have become safer doesn’t mean that we’ve attained total vehicle safety. Consumer Reports released a report regarding the safety of pickup trucks as passenger vehicles. It seems that while they’re generally safe vehicles, these trucks need continued improvement in passenger safety.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety used 11 different pickup trucks in a small-overlap crash test. A small-overlap test involves a car, truck or SUV colliding with an obstacle on a front corner of the vehicle at 40 miles per hour. Of the 11 pickup trucks in the test, just three earned a top score of “good” while about a half-dozen received an “acceptable” score, which is second-best. Two trucks received “marginal” ratings and only one received the lowest grade of “poor.”
The pickup trucks that did the best in the crash test were the ones redesigned after 2016. The trucks that were last redesigned more than a decade ago did the worst. Their poor performance compared to more recently updated models is unsurprising given their lack of innovations to meet modern safety standards.
No need to trade-in the family truck
Don’t panic if you’re a pickup truck driver. There are vehicles in every class that are safer than others. Practicing good driving habits and obeying traffic laws are two great ways to increase your safety on the road no matter what you drive. For instance, a West Virginia seatbelt study found pickup truck drivers and their passengers least likely to wear seatbelts. Simple measures like wearing your seatbelt make you much safer in your truck.
Automotive manufacturers need to continue to keep pace with modern safety standards. It’s not that pickup trucks are unsafe for you and your family, there are just some that are safer than others.