Rivian R1T Is the Only IIHS Top Safety Pick+ Truck

a car driving on a dirt road
Rivian R1T Is the Only IIHS Top Safety Pick+ TruckRivian

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety doesn't pull any punches when it comes to crash testing. Replicating an overlapping, head-on crash at 40 mph and measuring the impact forces on all inside the cabin? No problem, the independent watchdog agency says, which is why so many consumers follow its annual rating and rankings so closely.

In the name of continually evolving safety standards, the Virginia-based organization periodically updates its testing parameters, and the results are in for 2024. Notably, only one pickup truck made the Top Safety Pick+ list this year, and it's not from any of the Big Three or even Toyota. Instead, California-headquartered Rivian and its R1T earn top marks from the IIHS.

Specifically, the 2024 R1T is listed as a Top Safety Pick+ for this year, following impeccable crash test results from the updated moderate overlap front test. Previously, the R1T was awarded as a Top Safety Pick from its stellar original moderate overlap crash test results. However, the addition of a dummy in the rear seat and its relatively low risk of injury to the head, neck, and chest, as well as the retention of proper seatbelt placement, made the Rivian particularly marked in the updated test.

Other factors in its Top Safety Pick+ rating include good ratings in the small overlap front test and the updated side test, as well as acceptable or good-rated headlights across the entire lineup. Pedestrian safety standards, such as automatic emergency braking systems, were also marked as acceptable or good on the R1T. Finally, the R1T's standard front crash prevention system earn an acceptable rating too.

This award earns Rivian additional credibility in the passenger safety realm, though road engineers have expressed concern over its weight of nearly 7000 pounds. After a testing video from The University of Nebraska-Lincoln surfaced showing the over three-ton truck decimating a street guardrail, the future of roadway barriers and heavy EVs remains murky.

The Toyota Tundra lineup makes the grade just below Rivian, earning a Top Safety Pick score without the plus. The Tundra scores well on all fronts except for the updated moderate overlap front crash test, where it drops to a poor rating due to poor rear passenger restraints. Only a few other EVs share the Top Safety Pick+ title with Rivian, including Genesis' Electrified G80 and the Tesla Model Y. Notably, the SUV-shaped 2024 Rivian R1S only manages a Top Safety Pick due to a marginal rating in the updated moderate overlap crash test rating.

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