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Safety is something we don’t spend nearly enough time talking about in the car world. Road deaths were in decline from the 1970s until 2020. Even though Americans drove less in 2020 than years previously due to the pandemic, road deaths began to creep back up. With that in mind, when considering your next pickup truck purchase, you might think about the safest pickup trucks; the 2023 Rivian R1T and the 2023 Toyota Tundra.

2023 Rivian R1t earns IIHS safety award naming it one of the safest pickup trucks
2023 Rivian R1T | Rivian

What is the safest pickup truck? 

According to Consumer Reports, the two highest-rated IIHS pickup trucks are the Rivian R1T and the Toyota Tundra. Both of these trucks got the coveted Top Safety Pick +, the highest safety rating given by the IIHS. 

How does a pickup truck get the Top Safety Pick+ rating?

Consumer Reports explains that to earn this safety award, the Rivian and Toyota had to get Good ratings (the highest awarded by IIHS) in the driver- and passenger-side small-overlap front crash test and original moderate-overlap front crash test. These trucks also had to get the Good rating in the updated side crash test. 

In addition to requiring standard-equipped Acceptable or Good ratings for headlights, which use a different scale, they must also have an Advanced or Superior rating for daytime and vehicle-to-pedestrian front crash prevention.

Is the Rivian R1T a good pickup truck? 

2023 Rivian R1T | Rivian

The Rivian R1T was the first electric pickup truck to make it to market. This alone makes this one of the most exciting vehicles of its day. Aside from being first, the Rivian electric pickup truck was designed with the driver in mind. The new car company really went to the mat to think through what features would make a truly great pickup truck. There are endless off-road features like in-car wifi, AWD, an optional built-in electric kitchen, the gear tunnel, and so much more. It is not only an eco-friendly pickup truck that can go off-road with the best of them but it is also reported to be a very safe truck. 

Rivian describes the R1 T’s design: “Structures made from aluminum alloy, ultra-high-strength steel, and carbon fiber are designed for enhanced safety.” 

Is the 2023 Toyota Tundra a good truck? 

A Tundra Capstone at a work site
2023 Toyota Tundra Hybrid Capstone | Amanda Cline, MotorBiscuit

The Tundra captured Americans’ hearts years ago. The Tundra spent years as an outdated pickup truck that would damn near bulletproof. Now that the Tundra has been redesigned for the 2023 model year, truck buyers are seeing a whole new side to the old standby. The redesign not only made the Tundra one of the safest pickup trucks on the road, but it also made it a better truck to live with every day. 

The 2023 Toyota Tundra’s biggest update is a host of new engine options. The Tundra’s legendary 5.7-liter V8 has finally been replaced with three new options. Toyota gave Tundra buyers the choice between two 3.4-liter turbocharged V6 engines and a 3.4-liter hybrid V6 engine. These new engines are more efficient and more powerful than the previous V8. 

Even if you don’t care about having the safest pickup truck, these two options are also revered as two of the best pickup trucks on the market. So in a rare occurrence, some of the best trucks are also the two safest pickup trucks.