Is Ford’s safety rating for large trucks better than Nissan’s?

Nissan and Ford's large truck safety ratings both have strengths and weaknesses that you should consider. Upgrading safety features on Nissan and Ford's large trucks can help you save on car insurance rates.

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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...

  • The safety ratings for large trucks could impact your overall safety level on the road as well as your auto insurance rates
  • The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has ranked all 12 popular makes and models of large trucks, and this includes Ford and Nissan models
  • Altogether, each large truck model analyzed by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety is rated in eight critical safety categories
  • Both Nissan and Ford models have safety strengths and weaknesses that buyers should understand and consider carefully

Deciding which type of large truck to purchase is rarely a simple task. While you may be drawn to the style or features of a specific model of truck, you may also be looking at prices and safety ratings.

The reality is that you could, unfortunately, be impacted by a truck accident at any time.

Factors such as bad weather conditions, the experience of the driver behind the wheel, and the road conditions that are you driving on can affect your overall safety, but truck safety also varies based on the features and overall design of the truck.

It can be difficult for a typical large truck buyer to decide on his or her own which trucks are safer to drive than others, and you can easily rely on the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety/Highway Data Loss Institute for a thorough analysis of the safety ratings.

In fact, two Ford models and one Nissan model were analyzed by this association in eight areas of safety, and understanding the rankings in each of these areas can help you to decide if you want to buy a Ford or Nissan truck or if another brand is a better option to consider today.

Use our FREE quote comparison tool to find truck auto insurance rates today!

Safety Ratings Between Ford and Nissan Large Trucks

Before you learn how the Nissan and Ford large truck models rank in the area of safety by IIHS, you need to learn about the categories that they are ranked in and which vehicles were analyzed.

The 2017 Ford F-150 super-cab and super-crew models were compared against the Nissan Titan light-duty crew cab model. In each of the eight areas analyzed, the trucks could receive a rating of poor, marginal, acceptable, or good.

Because the overall safety ratings of different models of large trucks are analyzed carefully by auto insurance providers to determine your truck insurance premium, choosing to buy a safer vehicle could help you to qualify for better insurance rates throughout the years that you own your large truck.

You may also decrease the number of accidents or the severity of accidents that you are involved in.

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Exploring Specific Safety Test Results

When trying to determine if the Nissan Titan ranked higher in different safety categories than the two Ford F-150 models ranked, you must analyze each category separately.

The 2017 Titan ranked “marginal” in the Front Small Overlap category and “good” in the areas of Front Moderate Overlap, Side, Roof Strength, and Head Restraints and Seats.

On the other hand, the Ford models ranked “good” in each of these important safety categories.

For crash avoidance and mitigation, the two Ford models ranked as “basic” for front crash prevention and poor for headlights safety.

The Titan model was not ranked in the area of front crash prevention, and its “marginal” rating for headlights safety is slightly improved over the two Ford models.

The final category that each large truck was rated for by the IIHS is child seat anchors. Ford ranked as marginal for ease of use for the latches, and the Titan ranked as acceptable.

Acceptable is one level higher than the marginal rating.

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

You can see that the 2017 Nissan Titan, as well as the two 2017 Ford F-150 models reviewed by the IIHS, ranked better and worse in different safety categories.

As a driver, you need to determine which of these safety categories is most important to you if you must decide between these two models.

Another idea is to look beyond these two brands and to review the safety ratings for other makes and models.

Notably, the 2017 Ridgeline by Honda received the “Top Safety Pick” honor this year, ranking good in all eight safety categories reviewed.

All of the other large truck models reviewed by the IIHS fell below the good level in at least two to four different categories each, so the Ridgeline is a clear winner in the area of safety for 2017 models.

Deciding If Ford Is a Safer Choice for Large Trucks in 2017


Deciding which large truck to purchase is rarely easy to do. The Ridgeline by Honda is the highest rated vehicle in the area of safety, and this means that it may qualify for better insurance rates than some other truck models.

However, Ford has decent safety rankings in comparison to other large trucks that were reviewed by the IIHS, and other factors should be reviewed to finalize your buying decision.

For example, you also want to review each truck’s cost, features, reliability ratings, and more.

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Finalizing Your Large Truck Buying Decision

Reviewing the safety ratings for large trucks is an excellent way to narrow down your options.

Now that you are aware that the Ridgeline has the best safety ratings in this class, you may consider comparing it against the Nissan and Ford models that you were previously looking at.

You likely will own the truck that you choose for many years, so make a great buying decision that is right for all of your needs.

Consider requesting truck insurance quotes for each model you are thinking about buying and use the Internet to gather and analyze insurance rate quotes.

Use our FREE quote comparison tool to find truck auto insurance rates today!

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