IIHS crash tests reveal pickup truck passenger dangers

Many West Virginia residents choose medium or full-sized two-row pickup trucks because they offer an attractive combination of durability, hauling capability and space, but a recent series of crash tests conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reveals that vehicles like the Toyota Tundra and Chevrolet Colorado may not be as safe for passengers as their rugged reputations suggest. After propelling the right-front corners of several pickup trucks into an obstacle at normal driving speeds, only the Nissan Titan, Dodge Ram 1500 and Ford F-150 earned a rating of good for passenger protection.

The Toyota Tacoma and Honda Ridgeline were awarded an acceptable rating for passenger protection, and the Nissan Frontier and four General Motors pickups were deemed to provide marginal protection. The Toyota Tundra emerged as the worst performer in crash tests and was rated poor. However, the tests reveal that drivers are offered better protection. The Toyota Tundra and Nissan Frontier were rated marginal for driver protection. All of the other pickups tested were considered good in this regard.

The IIHS has been crash testing pickup trucks and other passenger vehicles since 2012, but researchers only started to gather information on passenger injury risks in 2017. A representative of the nonprofit safety group says that he was surprised by the results and expected the pickup trucks to perform better. He also put the Toyota Tundra's poor performance down to its older design. Toyota last restyled the vehicle in 2014.

Passengers who are injured in single-car motor vehicle accidents often need to undergo extensive medical treatment, during which they are unable to return to work. If it can be demonstrated that the crash was due to the negligence of the driver of the vehicle, an attorney could recommend filing a lawsuit against the at-fault party.

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