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The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) recently released its list of Top Safety Pick and Top Safety Pick+ winners for 2023. These awards recognize vehicles that have achieved high levels of safety in various crash tests and other assessments.

According to the list, only one Rivian model, the 2023 Rivian R1T pickup truck, was named a Top Safety Pick+. This is the highest honor the IIHS bestows and indicates that the R1T received good ratings in all crashworthiness tests, advanced or superior ratings for front crash prevention, and acceptable or good ratings for headlights.

The difference between Top Safety Pick and Top Safety Pick+ ratings

A white Rivian R1T parked outdoors.
Rivian R1T | Getty Images

The Top Safety Pick list is an annual recognition by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) that identifies vehicles that have achieved high levels of safety based on a series of rigorous crash tests and evaluations, U.S. News states. This list serves as a guide for consumers who prioritize safety when choosing a new vehicle.

Top Safety Pick+ is the highest rating that a vehicle can receive from IIHS, indicating that it has met all of the Top Safety Pick criteria and excelled in headlight performance.

The Top Safety Pick rating is still an excellent achievement, indicating that the vehicle has performed well in crash tests and offers strong front crash prevention technology. Still, it falls short of meeting all the Top Safety Pick+ requirements.

According to IIHS, the key difference between the Top Safety Pick and Top Safety Pick+ ratings is the level of nighttime vehicle-to-pedestrian front crash prevention. While both ratings require vehicles to have advanced or superior front crash prevention technology, Top Safety Pick+ winners must also offer this level of protection specifically for pedestrians during nighttime driving conditions.

The 2023 Rivian R1T is a newcomer with a Top Safety Pick+ rating

The Rivian R1T is an all-electric pickup truck that recently earned the distinction of being named a Top Safety Pick+ by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) for the 2023 model year. This honor is particularly notable given that the R1T is a new entrant in the competitive pickup truck market, and it demonstrates Rivian’s commitment to safety as a core value.

The driver-side small overlap front, moderate overlap front, side, roof strength, and head restraint tests that the IIHS conducted on the R1T all produced favorable results. A superior rating was also given to the R1T’s vehicle-to-vehicle front crash prevention system, which successfully prevented collisions in the tests at 12 mph and 25 mph. The R1T also earned an advanced rating for its vehicle-to-pedestrian front crash prevention system, successfully avoiding a collision in the 25 mph test.

The R1T’s headlights received an acceptable rating, which was enough to secure the Top Safety Pick+ rating for the vehicle. This rating applies specifically to the R1T Crew Cab model, which falls into the large pickup truck category. The Rivian R1T’s Top Safety Pick+ rating is a testament to the vehicle’s strong performance in various crash tests and its advanced crash prevention technology.

Toyota Tundra models earn a Top Safety Pick+ rating in the large pickup category

In addition to the Rivian R1T, the IIHS recognized two Toyota Tundra models as Top Safety Pick+ in the Large Pickup category. The Crew Cab Pickup and Extended Cab Pickup performed well in all crashworthiness tests. They also received a passable rating for their headlights, sufficient to earn both models the Top Safety Pick+ designation.

The Toyota Tundra’s strong performance in IIHS testing reinforces the automaker’s longstanding commitment to safety and underscores the importance of robust crash prevention systems in modern vehicles. As automakers continue to innovate in the safety space, we’ll likely see more and more vehicles earn top ratings from the IIHS, driving the industry forward and making our roads safer for everyone.


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