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Pickup passengers more prone to injury, crash tests find

Pickup truck owners in North Carolina should know that their vehicles may be safer for drivers than passengers. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has taken note of this discrepancy after a round of crash tests involving 11 modern two-row pickup trucks. This means that front passengers are in greater danger of injury and even death.

Of the 11 vehicles, three received a safety rating of "good." They were the Ford F-150, Ram 1500 and Nissan Titan. Below that were two, the Honda Ridgeline and Toyota Tacoma, that had an "acceptable" rating. Five received a score of "marginal." One was the Nissan Frontier, and the other four were General Motors trucks: the Chevrolet Silverado 1500, Chevrolet Colorado, GMC Canyon and GMC Sierra 1500.

The Toyota Tundra saw the worst performance and received a score of "poor." IIHS researchers say that its inability to maintain its structure during crash tests may be partly due to the lack of any recent overhauling. The Tundra has not seen a major redesign since 2014.

Compared to passenger results, nine of the pickups scored "good" in regard to driver protection. Only the Nissan Frontier and Toyota Tundra were rated with "marginal." The IIHS has told the auto industry that it must ultimately think of driver and passenger safety on equal terms.

A passenger might have the option to sue their driver in the wake of a car crash. If the driver was at fault, the victim could file a personal injury claim against the applicable auto insurance company. Before moving forward, however, they might want legal advice. A lawyer may even be beneficial when it comes to gathering evidence and negotiating for a settlement out of court.

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