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Passenger Safety Article

Photo of Randy Sorrels

As the vehicle industry continues to make advances in their designs and with passenger safety being a top priority, it could logically be assumed that newer cars would be safer for passengers. Well, new research by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) suggests that passengers of modern pickup trucks are more at risk of injury or death than the driver. The study found that specifically for two-row pickup trucks, the vehicles failed to maintain their structure when going through crash tests that are designed to recreate the event when the front-right corner of the vehicle crashes into something.

Of the pickup trucks tested all but two, the Tundra and Frontier, received "good marks" when testing safety on the driver's side. However when testing the passenger side of the vehicle, five showed "marginal performance," which included four General Motor's vehicles - Chevrolet Silverado 1500, Chevrolet Colorado, GMC Canyon and GMC Sierra 1500 - and the other was the Nissan Frontier. The Toyota Tundra had the worst performance scores, earning a "poor" mark and only two pickup trucks were rated "acceptable" - the Honda Ridgeline and the Toyota Tacoma. Three vehicles received a "good score" - the Ford F-150, Ram 1500, and the Nissan Titan.

While the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has been performing driver-side small overlap front crash tests since 2012, it only started testing the passenger side since 2017. IIHS wanted the auto industry to understand that the driver and front passenger both deserve the same amount of protection. Looking at the results of this experiment, automakers clearly were not allocating the same amount of protection for the passenger side of the vehicle as the driver's side. With passenger safety being one of the top priorities for automakers, IIHS hopes that these results will help influence their future designs to ensure safety for all passengers in their vehicles.

If you or someone you know has been injured in an auto accident, contact an attorney at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Sorrels, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner by calling 713-396-3964 or toll free at 1-800-594-4884.

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