-- Among four large pickup trucks, all 2001 models, the best performer
in a 40 mph frontal offset crash test was the Toyota Tundra, which
is rated good. By far the worst performer was the Ford F-150,
which is rated poor. The Chevrolet Silverado/GMC Sierra is rated
marginal, and the Dodge Ram is poor. The crash tests were conducted
by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
intrusion into the Tundra; dummy's movement was controlled:
The Toyota Tundra's structure performed well in the offset test.
"There was very little intrusion into the occupant compartment,
very little deformation. As a result, the dummy's movement was
well controlled, and the injury measures all were low except for
some moderately high forces recorded on the dummy's right leg,"
Institute president Brian O'Neill says.
F-150 is worst: In contrast, the F-150 "exhibited major collapse
of the occupant compartment in the offset test," O'Neill points
out. "As a result of this collapse, the dummy's movement wasn't
well controlled. High injury measures were recorded on the dummy's
head and neck. The airbag deployed late in the crash, and this
also contributed to the high injury measures."
appearance of the F-150 compared with the Tundra after the offset
test provides a dramatic contrast, showing the very different
performances of these vehicles' structures. The F-150's occupant
compartment was destroyed, while the Tundra's doors still functioned.
contrast also is apparent in measurements of occupant compartment
intrusion into the two vehicles. To quantify performance, Institute
engineers take 8 measurements of intrusion around the driver.
They also measure steering column movement. Low measurements
indicate that a vehicle's crumple zone and safety cage are well
designed. All 10 measurements are dramatically better in the
Tundra compared with the F-150:
OF OCCUPANT COMPARTMENT INTRUSION
AND STEERING COLUMN MOVEMENT (cm),
40 MPH FRONTAL OFFSET CRASH TEST
OF INTRUSION INTO TOYOTA TUNDRA
AND FORD F-150 IN 40 MPH FRONTAL OFFSET CRASH TEST
key aspect of protecting people in crashes is keeping the space
around occupants intact. Then the safety belts and airbags can
prevent significant injuries, even in very serious crashes. This
is what happened in the Tundra but not in the F-150," O'Neill
of Chevrolet Silverado: This large pickup is rated marginal.
Injury measures were good, but there was substantial occupant
compartment intrusion, and dummy movement wasn't controlled during
the offset test.
of Dodge Ram: This large pickup is rated poor. There was significant
intrusion into the occupant compartment and poor control of dummy
movement during the offset crash test. As in the F-150, the airbag
deployed late, which contributed to high head and neck injury
and government crash tests complement each other: The Institute's
crashworthiness evaluations are based primarily on results of
the frontal offset crash test at 40 mph. Each vehicle's overall
evaluation is based on three aspects of performance -- measurements
of occupant compartment intrusion, injury measures from a Hybrid
III dummy positioned in the driver seat, and analysis of slow-motion
film to assess how well the restraint system controlled dummy
movement during the test.
federal government has been crash testing new passenger vehicles
in 35 mph impacts since 1978. This New Car Assessment Program
has been a major contributor to crashworthiness improvements --
in particular, improved restraint systems -- in new passenger
vehicles. The Institute's offset tests, conducted since 1995,
involve 40 percent of a vehicle's front end hitting a deformable
barrier at 40 mph. This test complements the federal test involving
the full width of the front end hitting a rigid barrier. Full-width
tests are especially demanding of restraints but less demanding
of structure, while the reverse is true in offsets.
same 40 mph offset crash test is used to evaluate new cars by
Union in cooperation with motor clubs and by an Australian consortium of state
governments and motor clubs.
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Highway Loss Data Institute