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Not too long ago, trucks relied on their sheer size to keep occupants safe.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration toughened its rules, and now pickups have the same airbags and crash-avoiding electronic controls as cars and crossovers. The latest warning and automation systems are also coming online. Here are some of the safest 2018 truck models.
A few years ago, Fords finally earned their five-star safety rating from the NHTSA. Then last year the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awarded Top Safety Pick to both two-row cabins. Now Ford's menu includes such things as forward collision warnings, lane departure warnings and blind spot monitoring. If you are looking to avoid truck accidents, you will appreciate all of the automation such as an assist for lane departures and an autobrake for possible frontal collisions. It even has a vibrating steering wheel to get your attention. Of course, the catch is that you will pay more for these features.
Although the Tundra has not achieved the Ford's five-star rating, it does have some definite safety advantages.
Tundras have eight airbags, unlike all of its rivals which have six. Those extra ones protect the knees of the driver and front-seat passenger. In truck accidents, this may mean the difference between minor and major injuries. Furthermore, Toyota is making many of its crash avoidance systems standard. The 2018 Toyota Tundra has a standard forward collision warning with a pedestrian watch. These two are tied to an autobrake that operates at low speeds to mitigate or eliminate a collision. A lane keeper combines a road watch with corrective automation to keep the truck from straying into someone else's lane. Self-regulating high beams and adaptive cruise control are also standard.
More like an SUV than many trucks, the Ridgeline has a five-star safety record. This is outstanding in the midsized class where none of its rivals have achieved this goal. The four-star Nissan Frontier doesn't offer any crash avoidance systems while the four-star Colorado, Canyon and Tacoma have put more features on their menu. The Honda Sensing package piles on similar features to those offered on the Ford or Toyota. Honda is the only truckmaker with a roadside mitigation system which can stop the truck from running off the road.
Truck accidents could become a thing of the past if more automation and warning systems are added to every pickup in the future.