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

Ford's large trucks may have better safety ratings than Dodge's large trucks. Insurance costs for a Ford F-150 are $110 a month compared to $136 a month for the Dodge Ram.

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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...

  • Ford and Dodge are among the most popular automakers for large trucks in the country, but they differ significantly in the area of safety
  • Ford and Dodge rate high in some areas but low in others, so it’s important to research and determine which features are most relevant to your lifestyle before you buy
  • The safety rating for the large truck you select could play a major role in the cost of your auto insurance premium in the years to come

When you are in the market to buy a new large pickup truck, you understandably want to find a rugged, stylish truck that appeals to your taste and that has desirable features loaded into it.

Price and reliability may also be top concerns, but you do not want to overlook the important factor of safety.

The Ford F-150 and Dodge Ram may be at the top of your list of contenders, and you may be surprised to learn that these two popular brands do not rank high in all safety areas.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety/Highway Data Loss Institute reviews popular vehicle makes and models in various classes to issue safety ratings, and it has reviewed and rated 12 large truck models, include two Ford F-150s and two Dodge Rams.

Because safety ratings can impact your well-being on the road as well as your ongoing insurance costs, you need to learn more about the ratings for these four different vehicles.

Use our FREE quote tool to compare insurance rates for trucks today.

What truck has the best crash rating?

Truck accidents may be most commonly associated with inexperienced drivers or bad weather conditions, but keep in mind that even the most experienced drivers can get into serious accidents when they travel only a few miles down the road.

You never know when an accident will occur, and the safety features in your truck could help you to prevent accidents or to reduce the severity of injuries.

The IIHS has analyzed each of the 12 models of large trucks today in eight safety categories.

Reviewing and understanding these safety ratings can help you to make a better truck-buying decision.

Keep in mind that buying a large truck with higher safety ratings could also potentially qualify you for better insurance rates, and you can easily shop around to compare rates for different truck brands before you make a final buying decision.

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Researching Specific Safety Test Results for Large Trucks

The Ford F-150 super-cab, the Ford F-150 super-crew, the Dodge Ram 1500 crew cab, and the Dodge Ram 1500 extended cab trucks were among the 12 models of large trucks analyzed by the IIHS.

While some of their rankings were similar in specific safety categories, there were noticeable differences in a few areas that may be very important to you.

The IIHS specifically has broken down its ratings into three primary categories and eight sub-categories:

Crashworthiness

The Crashworthiness category indicates the protective abilities of the vehicle and features five sub-categories.

The two Dodge Ram models have a “marginal” rating from the IIHS for Front Small Overlap and Roof Strength, and they had a “good” rating for Front Moderate Overlap, Side, and Head Restraints and Seats.

The Ford F-150 models had a “good” rating in all five of these important safety categories.

Crash Avoidance and Mitigation

The Crash Avoidance and Mitigation category relates to the vehicle’s ability to prevent an accident or reduce its severity and features two sub-categories.

The Dodge Ram models were not ranked in the Front Crash Prevention category, and they both received “marginal” ratings for Headlights.

On the other hand, the Ford models received a “basic” rating for Front Crash Prevention and a “poor” rating for Headlights.

Child Seat Anchors (LATCH)

The final category, LATCH, is about child safety anchors. The two Dodge Ram models were rated as “marginal” for the LATCH safety category. The two Ford models received the same rating.

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

When trying to decide which of the large truck models to buy, you can see that Ford and Dodge models differ rather substantially in some critical areas, but because the ratings are so varied, it can be difficult to tell which brand is safer to drive overall.

It may be wise to compare insurance rates for all four truck models before making a final buying decision.

You may also look beyond these models because other trucks ranked better in the area of safety than these did.

For example, the 2017 Honda Ridgeline had a good ranking in all eight categories. This fact qualified the model for the honor of Top Safety Pick by the IIHS in this vehicle class.

Are Fords better than Dodges?

Safety is not the only factor to consider, and this means that the highly rated Honda Ridgeline may not necessarily be the right option for you to buy.

The Dodge and Ford models each have a distinctive look, great reliability ratings, and exceptional features.

Both trucks are also available at different price points to appeal to many drivers with various budgets.

Before you buy your next truck, consider analyzing all relevant factors and request insurance quotes on the models that you are most drawn to.

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Making a Great Buying Decision

Buying a large truck is a major financial move to make, and you may be tied to the truck that you purchase for many years.

You understandably want to make a smart buying decision, and this requires you to spend some time analyzing safety ratings.

Because saving money on auto insurance is a top goal for many truck buyers, look for a truck with a great safety rating as well as exceptional quality and appeal.

By taking the time to review all relevant factors, you can identify the best overall value for your money. Use our FREE quote tool to compare insurance rates for trucks today.

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