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IIHS Says Rivian R1T Is Safer Than All Rivals

Key Takeaways

  • Rivian R1T awarded Top Safety Pick+ award from IIHS
  • Electric pickup receives high score despite tougher crash safety requirements
  • Large electric trucks remain a threat to other road users

The Rivian R1T electric pickup truck has been awarded the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s prestigious Top Safety Pick+ award, cementing its status as one of the safest trucks money can buy – and it’s the only such vehicle to do so.

The R1T had to receive an ‘Acceptable’ or ‘Good’ rating in the updated moderate overlap front test to achieve this. Under the new requirements, a passenger dummy is placed behind the driver’s seat to evaluate second-row safety. In the case of the Rivian truck, the rear seat dummy recorded a low risk of injury to the head, neck, and chest. Crucially, the lap and shoulder belt maintained its position during the impact.

The second-row crash dummy’s head didn’t make contact with the front seat, further preventing head and back injuries. Interestingly, the similar Rivian R1S didn’t achieve the same rating, but it’s still rated as a Top Safety Pick.

Stricter Requirements Make It Tougher To Get TSP+ Award

This isn’t the first time the Rivian pickup has been awarded the IIHS’ top honor. In 2022, the R1T achieved the same safety score, receiving the Top Safety Pick+ accolade. It and the Toyota Tundra were the only trucks to win then, but, as mentioned, the requirements for this award are much more challenging than before.

Related

IIHS’ List Of Top Safety Picks Tumbles After Stricter Criteria Are Implemented

Last year, 101 cars qualified. This year, it’s down to fewer than half that.

A ‘Good’ or ‘Acceptable’ score in the moderate overlap front test is just one of the requirements for the TSP+ award. Aside from that, vehicles have to earn a ‘Good’ rating in the small overlap front test and the updated side test. An ‘Acceptable’ or ‘Good’ rating is also required in the headlight test (for all trim levels) and the updated pedestrian front crash prevention evaluation.

The pedestrian evaluation now comprises a single test that includes runs in the daylight and the dark. Fitted with standard front crash prevention assists, the Rivian scored an ‘Acceptable’ rating.

Rivian R1T 3/4 front view
IIHS/YouTube 

Safe For Occupants, But Heavy Trucks And SUVs Pose Risks For Other Road Users

The R1T was recently in the spotlight after being used in a world-first crash test. Weighing in at more than 7,100 lbs, the heavy truck showcased how hefty electric trucks pose a risk to guardrails that can stop regular, ICE-powered trucks. The US military is particularly interested in how heavier EVs react to guardrails, as they must protect against ‘hostile vehicles.’ As EVs become more popular, guardrails must be made more robust to withstand their weight.

While it provides excellent protection for occupants, the Rivian R1T is just one of many large trucks and SUVs that still raise safety concerns for other road users.

Rivian R1T interior
IIHS/YouTube 

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