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You’re in the market for a new pickup truck. Maybe a 2021 Chevrolet Silverado 1500? What do you take into account when purchasing a new pickup truck? Is the 2021 Chevy Silverado safe? The IIHS tested it and found that some of the results were surprisingly poor or marginal. 

A red Chevy Silverado 1500 is smashed into a wall inside the IIHS laboratories.
Chevy Silverado crash test | IIHS

How are the small overlap crash test ratings?

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety is an independent organization which, in part, tests vehicles’ safety. It is important to note that IIHS ratings vary depending on the particular model and trim tested. You should always double check the ratings of the particular vehicle you’re interested in buying. 

The IIHS ratings measure the driver and passenger small overlap crash ratings as well as the front moderate overlap. Overlap testing evaluates how well a car does when part of the front strikes a barrier.

The overall evaluation for the small overlap driver side crash test rating is good, though the structure and safety cage only gets an acceptable rating. Likewise, most of the driver injury measures are good, except for the lower leg/foot rating, which is also acceptable. Driver restraints and kinematics ratings were good for the 2021 Chevy Silverado 1500. 

The passenger side was worse

The passenger side didn’t do as well. Many car manufacturers tend to do a great job making the driver side safe, and pay less attention to the passenger side. The 2021 Chevrolet Silverado is no different.

The overall small overlap passenger side crash test rating is marginal. As you may suspect, this isn’t great. Disappointingly, the structure and safety cage got a poor score on this side of the truck. 

Passenger injury measures were mostly good, except for the lower leg/foot, which was marginal. 

The moderate overlap and side crash test ratings were better

All of the moderate overlap crash test ratings were good, except for the leg/foot, right. This was just acceptable. 

Similarly, all of the side crash test ratings, including overall, structure and safety cage, and driver injury measures, were good. 

The roof strength for the Chevy Silverado 1500 was good. This is important in the event of a rollover. The Silverado tested had a curb weight of 4,818 pounds, and a strength-to-weight ratio of 4.62. The peak force was 22,236 pounds.

Head restraints and seat testing all received good results. 

How about crash prevention?

A dummy sitting in the passenger seat of a Chevy Silverado 1500.
Chevy Silverado in a crash test | IIHS

Avoiding a crash eliminates the need to find out just how crashworthy your vehicle is. The IIHS tested the optional Safety Package II or Safety Confidence Package. They found it to be superior with optional equipment. It met the requirements for forward collision warning. Additionally, it was able to avoid a crash in both the 12 mph and 25 mph IIHS tests. 

Good headlights allow a driver to clearly see the road at night, when many accidents take place. The Silverado does not have good headlights. The Chevy Silverado 1500 tested received a poor rating for all of its tested headlights. 

Planning on putting a kid in your Silverado 1500? Not so fast. The child seat anchors received only a marginal rating. The IIHS found them to be difficult to locate, easy to confuse with other hardware, and lacking some lower anchors. 

So is the 2021 Chevy Silverado safe? If you’re in the market for a pickup truck and value safety, there are better options out there. Always make sure to do your research and compare crash test ratings and safety options. Of course, driving carefully will reduce the likelihood of needing these things in the first place. 


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