Small Pickups Perform Poorly in Side Crash Tests

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has released the results of its first ever side crash testing of five small pickup trucks.

According to the IIHS there were 9,000 fatalities due to side impact accidents in 2006. The IIHS also stated that in general small pickups provide less protection in these sort of crashes than the typical car or SUV. The IIHS tested the Toyota Tacoma, Ford Ranger, Nissan Frontier, Chevy Colorado/ GMC Canyon and Dodge Dakota pickups. The Tacoma was the only pickup to receive the IIHS’s highest rating of “good” due to its available side curtain airbags (side curtain airbags will be standard on the 2009 Tacoma). The Dodge Dakota, Ford Ranger and Nissan Frontier received “Marginal” ratings in the tests. The Chevrolet Colorado/GMC Canyon received a “poor” rating in the side impact tests because the driver dummy’s head was hit by the top of the moving barrier used in the test.

According to the IIHS small pickups have the highest rate of driver deaths than any other type of vehicle.

IIHS’s president Adrian Lund said that the small pickup category is not a “good choices for people looking for safe transportation…until they improve.”

The IIHS says that electronic stability control needs to be standard in this class. The 2009 Chevrolet Colorado, GMC Canyon and Toyota Tacoma will all have ESC standard, while it will be optional on the Nissan Frontier.

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