The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety recently conducted its first roof strength tests of large pickup trucks. The Ford F-150 and Toyota Tundra were the only two full-size trucks that earned the top rating of “Good” in the roof strength test, which measures how well a vehicle protects occupants in rollover crashes.
Because of their “Good” ratings in the roof strength test, both the F-150 and Tundra were also named 2011 Top Safety Picks by the IIHS, which means they also earned “Good” ratings in front, side and rear crash tests. All Top Safety Picks must also have standard electronic stability control.
In the roof strength test, the Nissan Titan received an “Acceptable” rating, while the Chevrolet Silverado, GMC Sierra and Dodge Ram were rated “Marginal”. These roof strength ratings only apply to crew cab versions of the trucks.
The IIHS measures roof strength by pushing a metal plate against one corner of a vehicle's roof at a constant speed. Pickuptrucks.com explains that to earn the highest rating, “the roof must withstand a force that’s four times the vehicle's weight before reaching 5 inches of crush.”
The Toyota Tundra's roof withstood a force of 4.5 times the truck’s weight, while the Ford F-150's roof withstood a force equal to 4.7 times its weight. The IIHS notes that its “Good” rating and Top Safety Pick award for the F-150 apply only to models manufactured after February 2011 because Ford made changes to the roof structure to better protect occupants in rollover crashes.
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