A common belief is that full-size pickup trucks are safer than their smaller counterparts in other segments. This is largely true, but what makes a vehicle safe isn’t necessarily the metal between you and impact. Features like passive and active technologies and vehicle design also play a crucial role in car safety. This principle applies to not only full-size trucks but also large and midsize SUVs.
So if the biggest truck doesn’t necessarily mean safer, how will you know which one to choose? Here are three that MotorTrend calls the safest pickup trucks of 2021.
The 2021 Ram 1500 earned excellent safety ratings
The new Ram 1500 is a game-changer, both off- and on-road. It has won MotorTrend‘s Truck of the Year three times in a row. It’s also the new benchmark that any super-truck must compete to beat. It comes with a 3.6-liter supercharged V6 base engine, producing 305 hp and 269 lb-ft of torque.
The Ram 1500 is not only comfortable but also safe. In fact, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave it an overall “Good” safety rating and a Top Safety Pick designation, just short of the highest award. Plus, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave it a 5-star rating, the highest available, MotorTrend reports. In addition, this truck comes with semiautonomous driving features such as adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitors, a forward-collision warning system, and automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection.
Furthermore, it improves the driving dynamics via a five-link coil-spring rear suspension and an optional air suspension. Additionally, it has a 360-degree surround view system that lets the driver see the entire vehicle on a screen.
The Chevy Silverado 1500 earned a 4-star NHTSA rating
The Chevy Silverado 1500 received a lower crash test rating from the NHTSA than the Ram 1500. However, it scored a 4-star safety rating. It also didn’t win an IIHS because of its “Poor” headlights and “Marginal” LATCH system’s ease of use. But overall, the 2021 Silverado is still a safe truck. It uses high-tensile, heavy-duty steel, giving it stability and extra protection in case of accidents.
Its regular cab model comes with many intelligent electronics that enhance its safety, such as hill start assist and proven trailer stability control technology. Also, expect forward-collision alert, automatic high-speed braking, forward automatic low-speed braking, hitch guidance, rear cross-traffic alert, and lane departure warning.
Other active safety features include brake gain memory, electric parking brake assist, and trailer theft alert. And a teen driver feature lets parents configure settings for younger drivers. Although most of these features do not come standard on the Silverado, buyers can add them to improve safety further.
The 2021 GMC Sierra 1500 secured a 4-star safety rating
The Silverado’s premium cousin offers a full suite of driver assists and advanced safety features.
The NHTSA gave the 2021 GMC Sierra 1500 an overall 4 stars in the front crash test. And the IIHS gave it the highest rating in five out of six crash tests. Although it scored the same “Poor” rating for headlights and “Marginal” LATCH ease of use as the Silverado, the Sierra also offers innovative features such as a cargo bed viewer, jack-knife alert, and trailer length indicator.
Other driver’s aids include a rearview camera, teen driver settings, adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, front and rear parking sensors, and blind-spot monitoring.
Although many of the above features are available options, the GMC Sierra 1500 easily makes it onto the list of the safest trucks of 2021. You can also add other safety features such as lane keep assist, lane change alert, rear camera mirror, and safety alert seat.
Overall, you can drive confidently knowing these three trucks are among the safest on the road.