Rivian R1T tops IIHS safety list for pickups, electric or not

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Rivian R1T tops IIHS safety list for pickups, electric or not


The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) now has one and only one pickup truck model on its Top Safety Pick+ honor roll, and it’s fully electric.

Fresh off a new round of testing, the Rivian R1T electric truck has been upgraded by the IIHS to Top Safety Pick+ status, from its previous Top Safety Pick. 

The elevating factor: Updated moderate overlap front test results show strong occupant safety for those in the back seat as well as the front. 

A key difference in the moderate overlap test, the IIHS explained in reported results, is the addition of a test dummy in the rear seat. In the R1T test, forces remained low in potential risk of injury to the head, neck, and chest, with the dummy’s head a safe distance from the front seat back. 

2024 Rivian R1T updated moderate overlap front test

The insurance-supported safety organization’s list of top safety performers has become considerably shorter this year. That’s because the Top Safety Pick+ accolade requires a top “Good” rating in the IIHS’s updated moderate overlap front test, although a top “Good” rating in the original moderate overlap test remains enough for Top Safety Pick status. 

To earn either of the top-safety accolades, vehicles also need to earn top “Good” ratings in the small overlap front test and the updated side test, plus have headlights rated either “Good” or next-best “Acceptable” across all trim levels of the model. Models also need a “Good” or “Acceptable” rating in the organization’s revised front crash prevention test series, including daylight and dark test runs. In the R1T’s case, it earns an “Acceptable” rating, according to the IIHS. 

2024 Rivian R1T

2024 Rivian R1T

As of yet, the only pickups to earn a spot on the next-best Top Safety Pick list include the Toyota Tundra and Hyundai Santa Cruz. A Tundra Hybrid, badged i-Force Max, is included, but it’s not a high-mpg system and instead is focused on towing and hauling. 

The list of safest 2024 EVs, according to the IIHS, is quite short, too. With the realignment in criteria the Top Safety Pick+ list includes only the Genesis Electrified G80, Hyundai Ioniq 6, and Tesla Model Y—and now, the R1T. 

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