Trucks & SUVs

Watch: Crash Testing New Full-Size Pickups

The grim part of the joy of pickup ownership is the despair of crashing it. But there is a certain amount of pleasure in watching pickup trucks crashing when no one is inside. We can watch such crashes thanks to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. It tests everything that hits the road (sorry for the pun) including new F-150s, Rams, Silverados, Tundras, and Titans. We’ve included info for each of these five full-size pickups.

The IIHS also films each simulated crash so we get to grab our popcorn and watch at our leisure.

All vehicles go through the same battery of crash tests. These include the small overlap front crash for both right and left sides, moderate overlap front, side-impact, roof strength, and head/seat restraints. 

You’ve seen those battering ram side impacts or vehicles slammed into barriers, but maybe not for the roof testing? For the roof strength test, an angled metal plate is rammed into one side of the roof at a steady rate to see how much force is necessary to crush the roof. The roof must withstand a force of four times the vehicle’s weight before the roof is crushed in by five inches.

IIHS Crash Test Ford F-150 | IIHS
IIHS Crash Test Ford F-150 | IIHS

It also tests the efficacy of headlights, child seat anchors, and front crash prevention systems in each vehicle. The four grades are a “G” for Good, “A” for Acceptable, “M” for Marginal, and “P” for Poor. For crash avoidance systems a grade of “superior”, “advanced”, or “basic” is given. 

Below we’ll post the ratings for all of the full-size pickups along with a couple of vids you can watch. This will give you a certain macabre entertainment. More importantly for those looking to purchase a new pickup, you can see how the truck you’re interested in scoring. And, what the truck you want looked like after a crash you’ll never want to happen to you.

2019 F-150 Crew Cab Pickup

The F-150 scored “Good” in all of the tests except for two. For the child’s anchor, it scored a “Marginal”. For headlights, it scored a “Poor” rating. It should be noted that a number of vehicles do poorly in the headlight tests, except when they have optional LED headlights. Then, for the LEDs, it scores a “Good”. So, keep that in mind if the truck you are considering has an option for LED headlights.

2020 Ram Crew Cab Pickup

For the new Ram 1500, it received a “Top Safety Pick +”. That’s the highest score a vehicle can receive and the only full-size pickup so rated. The Ram scored a “Good” in every category except headlights. For the optional LED headlights it scored a “Good” but with standard lighting, it scored an “M” rating. For child seat anchors it also scored an “M”.

2019 Chevy Silverado 1500 Crew Cab

New for 2019 the Chevy Silverado scored a “Good” rating in all but three tests. It scored a “Marginal” rating for small overlap front passenger side. It received a “Poor” score for headlights and a “Marginal” rating for the child seat anchor.

2019 Toyota Tundra Crew Cab

The Tundra has been playing catchup for safety devices since first being introduced in 2007. This may indicate why it did not score as well as its American counterparts. It received a mixed bag of scores running the full gamut. Toyota added drive/passenger frontal airbags and driver/passenger knee airbags in 2010. In 2014 safety additions included lengthening and reprogramming side curtains.


2019 Nissan Titan Crew Cab

For 2019 the Titan scored a “Good” rating in all categories except two. It scored a “Marginal” for headlights and an “Acceptable” for the child seat anchor. In 2017 the front-end architecture was modified to improve protection in front end crashes.