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Moving into the 2022 model year, we now have two trucks that hit the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s (IIHS) Top Safety Pick (TSP) list. So, we figured we should take a look at the safest 2022 full-size pickup trucks and dig into what is holding certain trucks back.

Safest 2022 full-size pickup trucks

Looking at both IIHS crash test results and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) safety ratings for these full-size trucks, you can see the Toyota Tundra is #winning. The Tundra gets a TSP+ for the crew cab while the F-150 extended and crew cabs both get TSP awards, as does the Ram 1500 crew. Both of these vehicles also get 5-Star overall safety ratings from NHTSA.

So, looking at both IIHS and NHTSA ratings, we’d rank the 2022 safest full-size trucks as follows:

  1. Toyota Tundra (2022 NHTSA not rated, IIHS TSP+ crew cab)
  2. Ford F-150 (NHTSA 5-Stars or 4 Stars depending on cab configuration)
  3. Ram 1500 (NHTSA 5-Stars or 4 Stars depending on cab configuration)
  4. Nissan Titan (NHTSA 4-Stars)
  5. Chevrolet Silverado 1500 (NHTSA 5-Stars or 4 Stars depending on cab configuration)
  6. GMC Sierra 1500 (NHTSA 5-Stars or 4 Stars depending on cab configuration)

We put Titan above Silverado and Sierra because of the IIHS results for the small front overlap test. The General Motors trucks get “Marginal” ratings here for the passenger, whereas Titan gets “Acceptable.”

Toyota Tundra gets the top spot thanks to its recent ratings for the 2022 model.

What is a Top Safety Pick?

IIHS has been putting out their Top Safety Pick awards since 2006, and each year, the criteria gets more stringent, with the hope that automakers trying to get this coveted award will make their vehicles better. For the most part, it’s worked.

In 2022 to make the list, vehicles had to get a Good rating in all of the crash tests, a Superior or Advanced rating for front-crash prevention and a Good or Acceptable rating for headlights.

The downfall for most pickup trucks: headlights.

safest 2022 full-size trucks

The problem with full-size truck headlights

Starting with the Toyota Tundra it gets good or acceptable ratings across all trims for headlights making it a TSP+ truck and the only one on the list.

The F-150 and Ram 1500 are the only two trucks that get Good ratings for headlights – but not in all trims. For the F-150, only the Tremor with the 402A package, Limited, Platinum, King Ranch, Raptor with the 801A package and Lariat with the 502A package get this rating. All other trims get Acceptable or Poor ratings. For the Ram 1500, only the Laramie Longhorn, Limited and TRX trims get Good ratings. All other trims are rated at Marginal.

The reason both F-150 and Ram 1500 don’t get a Top Safety Pick + award is also because of headlights. To get the “+” designation, you have to get Good headlight ratings for all trims.

All the other trucks on the list get Poor ratings in all trims.

Passenger side test results

Another big problem in our book is that small overlap front crash test – and the results for the front passenger. Again, Only F-150 and Ram 1500 get Good ratings here. Titan has an acceptable rating, but both Sierra and Silverado get Marginal ratings.

I don’t know about you, but that makes me think twice about sitting in the jump seat or putting anyone I love there.

Extensive intrusion of the dashboard, toepan and door hinge pillar contributed to a significant risk of injury to the right lower leg and a moderate risk to the left lower leg for the front passenger on the Chevrolet Silverado. (All images on this page courtesy of IIHS)

What do Marginal & Poor ratings mean?

In our book, anything below Acceptable is a failing grade when it comes to crash testing or headlights – especially those vehicles that have been recently refreshed or redesigned – like the GM duo. In fact, the biggest disappointments on this list are the Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra since both were next-gen trucks in 2019 – the same as the Ram 1500. So, GM either missed the memo on the importance of headlights, or it just didn’t care. GMC and Chevrolet also have work to do in the way of protecting the front passenger before they’ll be able to make the list.

The bottom line

If you regularly tool around in your truck alone, maybe safety isn’t a priority. But anyone who’s strapping a loved one into a vehicle should give these results a passing consideration. While the refresh on the Sierra and Silverado sure looks good, we hold a healthy dose of skepticism in the safety arena on those two trucks.

If you want the safest 2022 full-size truck, stick with Ford or Ram with the trim levels that have the best LED headlights.

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Jill Ciminillo

Jill Ciminillo is the Managing Editor for Pickup Truck + SUV Talk as well as a Chicago-based automotive writer, YouTube personality and podcast host, with her articles and videos appearing in outlets throughout the U.S. Additionally, she co-hosts a weekly radio show on car stuff for a local Chicago station. Previously, Jill has been the automotive editor for both newspaper and broadcast media conglomerates. She is also a past president for the Midwest Automotive Media Association and has the distinction of being the first female president for that organization. Jill is also currently a juror for the North American Car, Utility and Truck of the Year (NACTOY).

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