A number of Blue Oval models have earned Top Safety Pick status from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) this year, a list that includes the Lincoln Nautilus and the Ford Explorer. However, ever since the IIHS updated its moderate front overlap crash test, very few vehicles have managed to earn the best possible rating of good, a short list that includes the 2023 Ford Escape, 2022-2023 Ford Explorer, and the 2021-2023 Ford Mustang Mach-E, while the 2022-2023 Ford Ranger could only manage a “marginal” rating in that same test. Now, the same can be said of the 2023 Ford F-150, which struggled with the recently-updated IIHS crash test, too.
In its latest round of safety testing, IIHS subjected the 2023 Ford F-150, Toyota Tundra, Chevy Silverado, and Ram 1500 to its updated side impact test, and all earned “good” ratings except for the Silverado, which was assigned an “acceptable” rating in that regard. However, in the updated moderate overlap front crash test – which places a larger emphasis on back seat safety – only the Tundra secured a marginal rating, while the F-150, Ram 1500, and Silverado all rated “poor.”
In the updated moderate overlap front crash test , a second dummy – which is the size of a small woman or 12-year-old child – is positioned in the second row behind the driver, while the driver dummy is the size of the average adult male. These changes were made in response to increasing risks of fatal injuries suffered by occupants in the second row who are wearing their seat belts, which isn’t as big of a problem for front seat passengers thanks to the prevalence of safety tech in the first row.
For a vehicle to earn a good rating, there can’t be an excessive risk of injury to the head, neck, chest, or thigh, as recorded by the second-row dummy, the dummy should remain correctly positioned during the crash, the head should remain a safe distance from the front seatback and the rest of the interior, and the shoulder belt should remain on the shoulder. In that regard, all three pickups feature inadequate rear restraint systems, according to the IIHS. “Like most other vehicle classes, large pickups don’t perform as well in the new moderate overlap evaluation as they do in the updated side test, which is now a requirement for our Top Safety Pick awards,” said IIHS President David Harkey.