2021 Ram 1500 Earns 2nd-Highest Safety Award

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Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

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, Automotive Editor - December 14, 2020

While modern pickup trucks have all of the latest driver-assist features, they’re not all that safe because of their construction and size. Full-size pickup trucks tend to perform especially poorly in crash testing, but the Ram 1500 is the one full-size pickup truck that actually earns respectable scores. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) crash-tested the 2021 Ram 1500 and named it a Top Safety Pick vehicle.

This may seem like a step down from last year’s model, which won the IIHS’ Top Safety Pick+ award, because it is. But it’s not like the 2021 model performed poorly in any specific crash tests. Compared to last year, the IIHS’ requirements to earn one of its awards changed. 2021 models must now have “Good” or “Acceptable” rated headlights as standard and have an “Advanced” or “Superior” rating for its front crash prevention system in both vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-pedestrian tests.

Because of the new criteria, the 2021 1500 missed out on the top award. The pickup truck has three headlights that earned a “Marginal” rating. If it weren’t for that, the pickup would’ve been named a Top Safety Pick+. The pickup met the other requirements, earning a rating of “Good” in all six crash tests, a “Superior” rating in the vehicle-to-vehicle crash prevention test, and an “Advanced” rating in the vehicle-to-pedestrian test. The IIHS wasn’t able to complete its vehicle-to-pedestrian test in last year’s pickup, as the 2021 model year’s optional front crash prevention system now comes with pedestrian detection.

Ram 1500

If you want to get into a Top Safety Pick-rated 2021 Ram 1500, you’ll have to go with the Laramie Longhorn, Limited, or TRX. Those three trims come with curve-adaptive LED headlights that were found to be “Good.”

The IIHS hasn’t completed its testing on other 2021 pickup trucks. 2020 models from Ford and Chevrolet missed out on awards for various reasons. With the 2020 Ford F-150, the pickup’s “Poor” rated headlights meant it was not eligible for an award. The 2020 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 earned a “Marginal” rating in the passenger-side small overlap front test and only comes with “Poor” rated headlights. Those two things held the Silverado 1500 back from earning an award.

When it comes to full-size pickup trucks, the 2020 Ram 1500 was the first pickup truck to earn a Top Safety Pick+ award from the institute. In the segment, the Ram 1500 continues to be the only safe option on the market. Compared to its competitors, the Ram 1500 is in a different league when it comes to safety scores from the IIHS.

Learn more about the 2021 RAM 1500 »

, Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

Follow On: Twitter

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