It’s no secret that we like our pickup trucks. There’s a constant battle between the Ford F-150, Chevy Silverado, and Ram 1500 to be the best. But as trucks grow in size and popularity, they’re also becoming increasingly dangerous.
Pickup trucks are becoming more dangerous
Pickup trucks are one of the most popular options to buy. Trucks account for one out of every five vehicles sold, with the Ford F-150 as the most popular option in 2020. The Ford F-Series sold 787,422 units, the Chevrolet Silverado sold 586,675 models, and the Ram 1500 sold 563,676 new units in 2020.
But trucks are increasingly dangerous. They are 11 percent taller and 24 percent heavier than other options. This increased mass comes with decreased front sightlines and more significant blind spots. They make it more difficult to see pedestrians and smaller vehicles in front of you.
Consumer Reports Expert Keith Barry shared that trucks have taller heights and longer hoods. This can create blind spots that are 11 feet longer than the blind spots in sends and seven feet longer than SUVs.
This increases the risk of truck drivers running over someone in front of them because they simply can’t see them. Also, the taller front end and higher bumper on trucks may lead to more severe injuries upon impact, and the extra weight makes them harder to stop.
Are trucks doing anything to become safer?
According to KidsandCars.org, the most fatalities involved in pickup truck crashes are children between 12 and 23 months old. So, consumer Reports decided to investigate by asking auto manufacturers why pickup trucks are growing larger.
Stellantis, the parent company of Ram, declined to answer this question. But Ford and General Motors shared that the changes are driven by customer preferences. Trucks also need large grilles to support engine cooling while towing.
Consumer Reports shared that mandatory advanced safety technology such as automatic emergency braking, blind-spot warning, pre-collision warning, rear-cross traffic alert, and more can help improve safety. Designing roads that are safer for pedestrians and cyclists can help too.
Which truck is the safest?
The safest pickup truck for 2021 is the Ram 1500. The 2021 Ram 1500 is the only truck that earned a 2021 IIHS Top Safety Pick award, thanks to its excellent crash test results and optional LED headlights. But the headlights and other advanced safety features don’t come standard, so they do cost extra.
The Ram 1500 earned a Good score in each Insurance Insurance Highway Safety test. With National Highway Traffic Safety Administration testing, the Ram truck earned a five-star rating overall.
It only received four stars in the front-impact and rollover tests. So, if a crash couldn’t be avoided, all occupants or crash test dummies were well protected. The Quad Cab model didn’t earn the Top Safety Pick award due to having poorer standard headlights.
Available safety features include blind-spot monitoring and rear-cross traffic alert, automatic emergency braking, lane-keeping assistance, automatic high-beam headlights, and available adaptive cruise control. For the record, the 2020 Ford F-150 is the second safest truck for 2021.