Is Chevy’s safety rating for large trucks better than GMC’s?

Chevy's large trucks had worse safety ratings than GMC's large trucks. Expect to pay an average of $123 a month for a Chevy Silverado and $133 a month for a GMC Sierra.

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Zaneta Wood, Ed.S. has over 15 years of experience in research and technical writing bringing a keen understanding of data analysis and information synthesis to reach a wide variety of audiences. She studied adult education and instructional technology at Appalachian State University as well as technical and professional communication at East Carolina University. Zaneta has prepared technical p...

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Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He has an MBA from the University of South Florida. Jo...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder & CFP®

UPDATED: Sep 15, 2020

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Here's what you need to know...

  • Safety ratings for large trucks should be carefully analyzed before buying a new vehicle because they can affect the cost of your truck insurance
  • While Chevrolet and GMC trucks do not rank highest in the IIHS’s safety ratings for large trucks, they generally rank well overall
  • Expect to pay about $123 a month for the Chevrolet Silverado, compared to $133 a month for the GMC Sierra
  • The highest safety rating by the IIHS for large trucks is assigned to the 2017 Honda Ridgeline, which has earned the reputable title of Top Safety Pick for this year

Inexperience behind the wheel is a major cause of truck accidents across the country, but even experienced drivers can be involved in accidents. After all, issues like bad weather conditions or the actions of other drivers on the road could result in a car accident when you least expect it.

The safety features in your new truck could potentially help you to reduce the incidence of truck accidents and to reduce the severity of accident-related injuries in some cases. With this in mind, you may be wondering if the Chevrolet or GMC truck models have better safety ratings.

The primary truck safety ratings are published by the IIHS, or the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety / Highway Data Loss Institute.

This reputable auto industry organization has analyzed 12 of the top large truck models on the market for 2017 and has ranked each vehicle in eight specific safety categories.

Both Chevrolet and GMC have two truck models each that were analyzed in this fashion, and all four of these vehicles have mixed ratings.

Safety Ratings for GMC and Chevy Trucks

Nobody wants to think about potentially being in a severe accident, but the reality is that any driver could be involved in an accident at any time. Buying a truck that ranks well in top safety categories is a wonderful way to reduce the likelihood and severity of accidents.

The two GMC models analyzed by the IIHC are the Sierra 1500 crew cab and the Sierra 1500 double cab, and the two Silverado models included in this important safety analysis are the Silverado 1500 crew cab and the Silverado 1500 double cab.

Safety ratings issued by the IIHS are an important factor to review when buying a new truck, but you also may be interested in finding an affordable truck to buy that works well with your budget.

Keep in mind that the overall safety ratings for each truck are reviewed and analyzed by your insurance company, and they play a direct role in truck insurance rates, which directly affects the cost of your vehicle ownership over the years.

If you want to save money on truck insurance, be sure to compare a few rate quotes to find the best deal possible on truck insurance.

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What Truck has the best crash rating?

There are three primary categories that the IIHS rates vehicles under, and these are broken into eight sub-categories. Most of the sub-categories are graded from the lowest level of “poor” to the highest level of “good.”


Under the Crashworthiness category, vehicles are analyzed under five sub-categories for their ability to protect occupants from injuries in an accident.

Both of the Chevrolet Silverado models have a rating of “good” by the IIHS for categories such as Side, Roof Strength, Front Moderate Overlap, and Head Restraints and Seats.

The Silverado double cab has an “average” IIHS rating for the Front Small Overlap category, and the Silverado crew cab has a “marginal” rating in this sub-category.

On the other hand, the GMC Sierra 1500 double cab has “average” IIHS rating for the Front Small Overlap, and the crew cab has a “marginal” rating in this category. For the other IIHS safety categories mentioned, both Sierra models have a “good” rating.

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Crash Avoidance and Mitigation

Under the Crash Avoidance and Mitigation category, vehicles are reviewed under two categories for their ability to reduce the severity of or to entirely prevent a collision.

All four truck models have a “basic” rating for the Front Crash Prevention category, which is the lowest rating available in this category.

However, only one truck model on the list had a higher rating than “basic.” Both GMC models rate as “average” for Headlights, and both Chevrolet models rate as “poor” for Headlights.

LATCH for Child Safety Seats

The final LATCH category rates how easy the child seat anchor latches are. Under the Latch safety category by the IIHS, the double cab models for both brands have a “marginal” rating. The crew cab models for both brands have a “poor” rating.

2017 Top Safety Pick and/or 2017 Top Safety Pick+

As you can see, the two GMC and two Silverado models explored here have high safety ratings in some critical areas, but they fall very short in other areas.

If safety is your top concern when buying a new truck, consider the 2017 Honda Ridgeline as an alternative.

This is the only truck model of the 12 analyzed that ranks in the “good” level for seven of the eight categories, and it is the only model that has the IIHS Top Safety Pick title.

Is a GMC truck better than a Chevy?

Altogether, the GMC trucks analyzed in the IIHS safety tests received slightly better marks than the Chevrolet trucks received.

The primary differences between the various models reviewed were in the Headlights and LATCH categories. Be aware that both of these automakers had two trucks each in this vehicle class.

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What to Do Before Deciding Which New Truck to Buy

Before you finalize your truck buying plans, take the additional step to shop online for insurance quotes for the top two models you are thinking about buying.

A truck insurance premium can be a major expense in your budget, and exploring this cost in greater detail can help you to find the model that qualifies for better truck insurance rates.

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