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Most automakers equip modern trucks with similar safety features as every other passenger vehicle, but these trucks are lacking in one significant area. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) found that many of the most popular 2022 pickup trucks do not meet the criteria for seat belt reminders. The Toyota Tundra crew cab was the only truck that passed the new IIHS seat belt reminder test.

The IIHS test evaluated the seat belt reminders on new pickup trucks

The IIHS seat belt reminder test tripped up all trucks except for the Toyota Tundra
The Toyota Tundra pickup truck | Toyota

In this recent study by the IIHS, the organization evaluated some popular pickup trucks that should have a seat belt reminder as a standard feature. Only one pickup truck out of 10 received a good rating, and five received a poor one. IIHS President David Harkey says that those riding in pickup trucks are less likely to be buckled up, which is why these reminders are even more critical.

Almost one-third of pickup truck occupant deaths in 2020 occurred when the vehicle rolled over during a crash. Because of the ejection risk, seat belts play an essential role in these types of crashes.

The IIHS has been working on improving and updating its safety and crashworthiness tests to ensure modern vehicles are safer than ever before. In March, the organization launched a new program to encourage automakers to have better seat belt reminders.

The results of the IIHS seat belt reminder test show that most pickup trucks do not have efficient reminders

According to the IIHS, the standards for seat belt reminders are pretty stringent. “Federal standards specify that seat belt reminders must include an audible signal that lasts for 4-8 seconds total and a visual alert that lasts at least 60 seconds when the driver’s seat belt is unbuckled at ignition.”

The IIHS suggests that more noticeable alerts encourage drivers to buckle up by 34%, which could prevent 1,500 fatalities annually. To get a “good” rating in this area, seat belt reminders must have an audible signal and a visual alert on the dashboard or other display. Plus, some sort of signal that detects an unbuckled driver.

TruckRatingAvailable?Meets IIHS requirements?
Toyota Tundra crew cabGoodYesYes
Hyundai Santa Cruz crew cabAcceptableNoNo
Nissan Frontier crew cabAcceptableNoNo
Ram 1500 crew cabMarginalNoNo
Toyota Tacoma crew cabMarginalNoNo
Chevrolet Colorado crew cabPoorNoNo
Chevrolet Silverado 1500 crew cabPoorNoNo
Ford F-150 crew cabPoorYesNo
Ford Maverick crew cabPoorYesNo
Ford Ranger crew cabPoorYesNo
IIHS seat belt pickup truck scores

The only truck to get a “good” score is the 2022 Toyota Tundra crew cab. The rest of the results are above.

This is a new test that more trucks should be able to pass

The table shows that the Toyota Tundra is the only pickup truck to satisfy all requirements. The 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz and Nissan Frontier met the front row requirements but not the ones for the back row. The IIHS requires the second-row seatbelts to be buckled and have a similar audio/visual reminder.

The Chevrolet Colorado, Chevrolet Silverado 1500, Ford F-150, Ford Maverick, and Ford Ranger did not meet the requirements. Some had the required audio front row reminders, but these did not last long enough. The audio seat belt reminder should be longer than eight seconds in duration, which these were not.

The Toyota Tacoma satisfied the audio and frequency requirements, but the duration wasn’t long enough. The Ram 1500 had a reminder when passengers unbuckled the front row seatbelt, but it didn’t go off quick enough. Both of these trucks on received a marginal rating. At this point, these pickup trucks need a revamp for some of the critical seat belt warnings.