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Passengers in modern pickups have higher risk for injury, death

South Carolina residents with modern pickup trucks should know that the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has been conducting crash tests on these vehicles. Since 2012, it has been conducting small overlap front collision tests for the driver's side, and it started to test the passenger side in 2017. It turns out that passengers in these pickups are more liable to suffer injury or death than drivers.

Of the 10 two-row pickups that were tested, the Toyota Tundra saw the worst performance, receiving a rating of "poor" from IIHS researchers. When its front-right corner smashes a vehicle or object, the Toyota Tundra struggles to maintain its structure. Compared to other pickups that have seen recent overhauls, the Tundra's last major redesign was in 2014. This may partly account for its performance.

Five pickups received a rating of "marginal." Four of these were General Motors products -- the Chevrolet Silverado 1500, Chevrolet Colorado, GMC Canyon and GMC Sierra 1500. The other was the Nissan Frontier. Higher than this were two vehicles with "acceptable" performance, the Honda Ridgeline and the Toyota Tacoma. The remaining three pickups, the Ford F-150, Ram 1500 and Nissan Titan, received the highest rating of all, "good."

Driver's-side safety was "good" for all pickups except the Tundra and Frontier, which both scored "marginal." This clearly shows the contrast between driver and passenger safety.

Such safety issues can influence the extent of one's injuries in the event of a car accident. However, passengers who are injured may be able to file claims for medical expenses and other losses. In some cases, a passenger may pursue a claim against both the driver they were with and the driver in the other vehicle. It may be best, however, to speak with a lawyer beforehand.

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