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The Toyota Tacoma gets a bad rap. Sure, compared to similar trucks, the Tacoma falls short in areas like towing capacity and ride comfort. But one area where it doesn’t fall short is safety. In fact, it’s one of the safest pickup trucks available when equipped with an optional feature.

The 2020 Toyota Tacoma’s new headlights

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The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) is an organization that tests vehicles for safety. One area where many trucks fall short in terms of safety is the headlight category. Compared to IIHS’s actual crash tests, a truck’s headlights may seem unimportant, but this is just not true.

Good headlights can provide far better visibility during the night or any low visibility weather. Obviously, if you can’t see an oncoming vehicle or obstacle, then you may get in a collision. So, trucks with good headlights will rank as safer trucks.

For the 2020 model year, Toyota is offering brand-new LED reflector headlights as an option for the Tacoma. These headlights helped the Tacoma earn a Top Safety Pick award from IIHS. According to the safety organization, only two other pickup trucks have earned this award in 2019, making the Tacoma one of the safest trucks on the market today.

How safe is the 2020 Toyota Tacoma?

The Toyota Tacoma from 2020
The Toyota Tacoma from 2020 | Courtesy of

While these new LED headlights helped the Tacoma win the award, it wasn’t the only reason why the Tacoma won. The 2020 Toyota Tacoma also performed well in crash tests. Without those good results, IIHS wouldn’t have given the Tacoma the award.

According to IIHS, the 2020 Tacoma received a “good” rating, the highest rating available, on almost every category. The Tacoma did fall short in the passenger-side small overlap crash test. The head and chest of the test dummies were largely uninjured, but the Tacoma didn’t protect the feet of the test dummies well in this test.

That’s ultimately why IIHS only gave the Tacoma an “acceptable” rating on that test. An acceptable rating is the second-highest rating, so the truck didn’t perform terribly. But, as IIHS said, if the Tacoma handled this test better, then it would’ve received the best safety rating possible for trucks.

Toyota’s reputation 

The Tacoma winning the Top Safety Pick isn’t a surprise to many Toyota fans, however. The Toyota Hilux, the mid-sized pickup truck very similar to the Tacoma, is known for being one of the most durable and safe cars ever. The Tacoma, while not as durable as the Hilux, has a similar reputation. 

On top of this, Toyota puts safety at the forefront; many of its vehicles are known to be very safe. This is partly due to how Toyota designs its cars, but it’s also because of how many safety features Toyota puts as standard in its vehicles. The Tacoma, likewise, has a lot of standard safety features.

For example, Toyota introduced a crash prevention system as a standard smart safety feature onto many of its vehicles, including the Tacoma. Other automakers have similar systems as options, but Toyota made it standard. The automaker clearly cares about the safety of its drivers. This system, in particular, was given the best grade possible by IIHS — a testament to Toyota’s safety-first thinking.