The 2019 and 2020 model year Ram 1500 is the only light duty pickup truck to receive the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s coveted Top Safety Pick+ rating, with the GMC Sierra, Chevrolet Silverado, Ford F-150 and other competitors missing out on the designation.
The IIHS only awards a vehicle with the Top Safety Pick+ designation if earns good ratings on the driver-side small overlap front, passenger side small overlap front, moderate overlap front, side, roof strength and head restraint tests. These days, they must also have advanced or superior rating for frontal crash prevention technology and, crucially, a good headlight rating. Many new vehicles will get docked points for having headlights that are not powerful enough, or sometimes having lights that are too bright and are positioned in a way where they may blind oncoming drivers.
Headlights were the only thing keeping the Ram 1500 from receiving the award previously. With the introduction of available curve-adaptive LED projector headlights with high-beam assist from May 2019 onward, the truck received a good headlight rating, making it the first-ever light duty pickup to qualify as a Top Safety Pick+.
In addition to its new headlights, the IIHS also awarded FCA’s and Ram’s frontal crash prevention system as superior, saying it avoided collisions successfully in its 12 and 25 mph track tests and has a forward collision warning component “that meets the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s criteria.”
The GMC Sierra would need to improve in a number of areas in order to be considered a Top Safety Pick+, as would the Chevrolet Silverado. In Crew Cab trim, both trucks received a marginal rating in the Small Overlap Front Passenger Side tests and had poor headlight ratings. The IIHS also found the LATCH system in both trucks to be a bit difficult to use, giving it a marginal rating. The F-150 Crew Cab also had a poor headlight rating and moderate LATCH ease of use, although it had superior crash protection in Small Overlap Front testing.