AutoGuide News Blog
The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
Given their high center of gravity and the questionable driving abilities of some people, pickup trucks are more often likely to end on their roof than cars and some crossovers. As a result, having a truck that scores high in roof strength tests would seem to be a bonus right?
Well, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, out of the current crop of 1/2 ton full-size offerings, the Ford F-150 and Toyota Tundra have the best chance of protecting their occupants in the event of a rollover.
During a test conducted by the institute, where a large plate of steel is pressed against the corner of the roof, the Tundra was able to support 4.5 times its own weight; the F-150 4.7 times. According to the IIHS a vehicle must be able to survive the equivalent of up to four times its weight in pressure, in order to qualify for a ‘good’ rating.
Of the other full-size pickups tested; Nissan’s Titan earned an ‘acceptable’ rating, while the GM twins, the Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra, plus the Ram 1500, netted just ‘marginal’ ratings.
It’s good to be good – especially when you’re singled out for it. And that’s what the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) just did with the 2011 Cadillac CTS and Infiniti M37/M56, which earned Top Pick Safety Awards in the large luxury class and earned the top rating of good in recent roof strength tests.
A roof strength tests assess how well vehicles would protect people in rollover crashes. The CTS and M37/M56 passed this test and also received good ratings in all four of the IIHS’s safety evaluations, and include electronic stability control, a feature that helps drivers avoid crashes altogether.
“The test results show that manufacturers are moving quickly to improve the rollover safety of their newest designs,” says Institute president Adrian Lund.
Eariler winners in the large luxury class include the BMW 5 series, Hyundai Genesis, Lincoln MKS, Mercedes E class, and Volvo S80.
Using a roof strength test, the Institute is able to evaluate rollover protection. In this particular test, a metal plate is pushed against one corner of a vehicle’s roof at a constant speed. The maximum force sustained by the roof before 5 inches of crush is compared to the vehicle’s weight to find the strength-to-weight ratio. This test is able to give a good assessment of vehicle structural protection in rollover crashes. Vehicles that are rated good have roofs that can withstand a force equal to at least 4 times the vehicle’s weight.
[Source: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety]