Three of the major workhorses is pickups were chosen in side crash tests by the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety in 2009. The Dodge Ram 1500, Chevy Silverado 1500, and Nissan Titan were classified as doing a poor job based on tests. Even with side airbags, the protection for the occupants is no better than marginal. According to the institute, the size, weight, and height should have helped these three perform well. However, after testing not only did the features not help, they performed worse than many cars that were evaluated.
The institute’s side tests assess occupant protection in vehicles struck in the side by SUV’s or pickups. These results can be compared across vehicle type and weight categories, while frontal crash tests cannot. The kinetic energy element involved in side test crashes depends on the weight and speed of the moving barrier, which are the same in every test. Frontal crash tests against an immovable barrier depend on the test vehicle’s weight and speed.
In the Silverado’s tests, it was the combination of poor side structure and a lack of side torso airbags. The result is an unprotected upper body of the occupant. The Silverado test also revealed some intrusion into the occupant compartment. In contrast, the Ram and Titan’s side structures are designed to limit intrusion. The Ram’s side structure earns a good rating, while the Titan earns an acceptable rating.
Just for comparison, the three previously tested models that earned awards were the Honda Ridgeline, Ford F-150, and Toyota Tundra. If you or a loved one has been njured in an accident, call the Law Firm of McWhirter, Bellinger & Associates, P.A. at 1-888-353-5513 for a free consultation.