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Accidents happen. Most of us will be in a crash at some point, so it makes sense to drive a truck that will keep you and your family safe. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, or IIHS, tests cars, trucks, and SUVs and rates them on how well they protect people in a variety of crash scenarios. Not every truck scores well, but four did.

What is the safest rated truck?

Only four 2022 pickup trucks earned Top Safety Pick awards ratings from the IIHS. The list may be short, but the F-150, Ram 1500, and the Hyundai Santa Cruz all bring tons of utility, like high towing capacities and good payload numbers, and lots of creature comforts and safety aids. Each, though, came with a caveat that to earn the top award, you need to order the optional brighter headlight packages for each. But, each truck on the list earned the second-highest rating that the IIHS gives, and each should protect passengers in most crash scenarios.

2022 Ford F-150 Crew Cab

2022 Ford Limited interior
Ford F-150 Limited Interior | Ford

Ford redesigned the F-150 for 2021, and the redesigned 14th generation of the F-150 made some significant steps towards safety. The IIHS gave the Crew Cab version of the 2022 F-150 a Top Safety Pick award, but with one caveat: it needs specific headlights. The base headlights, like those on the XL trim, don’t illuminate well. However, with the upgraded headlights that are standard on upper trim levels, it earned the top score.

2022 Ford F-150 Extended Cab

The F-150 extended cab, left, and crew cab both earned the Top Safety Pick designation from the IIHS.

Just like the Crew Cab, the Extended Cab was vastly improved in the redesign. And, just like the Crew Cab, IIHS recommends the better headlights. But overall, both the Crew Cab and the Extended Cab scored highly on every other test that the IIHS put them through. The one red flag was an inadequate seat belt reminder.

2022 Ram 1500 Crew Cab

A black 2022 Ram 1500 full-size pickup truck parked on grass covered snow near barren trees
2022 Ram 1500 | Ram

We’re fans of the Ram 1500’s interior, smooth air-ride suspension, and value. We can also be fans of its Top Safety Pick rating. But, like the Fords, the IIHS does make a few caveats on the safety of the Ram 1500. Like the Fords, it recommends the upgraded headlights for safety, which vary with trims. Also, only the versions that have the optional full-speed forward collision warning plus package earned the “superior” award.

2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz

2023 Hyundai Santa Cruz Night on the road
2023 Hyundai Santa Cruz Night | Hyundai

The Santa Cruz is the only small truck on the list. Just like the others, the award only comes with the Santa Cruz trucks with specific headlights. But the Santa Cruz, which is in many ways a Hyundai Tucson SUV with a bed, comes with the same safety packages as the SUV and is a safe truck. That means it has multiple airbags, several safety aids, and a solid unibody structure that helps give it superior ratings in several crash scenarios.


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