Ram 1500 Named Most Dangerous Car Following Review of Safety Data

Dodge Ram 1500A new report issued by 24/7 Wall St (www.247wallst.com) has named the Dodge Ram 1500 as “The Most Dangerous Car in America”. The group, an internet financial news and opinion company, looked at data from several sources, including Consumer Reports’ ratings and vehicle safety test results released by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and others. 24/7 Wall Street analyzed the data to produce their list of the most dangerous cars in America.

Vehicle safety in the United States has been measured for over twenty years. Several companies perform vehicle safety tests and release their rankings. One of the best known is the IIHS (www.iihs.org) testing suite. The tests mimic the most common types of accidents occurring on the road and the ability of each vehicle to protect passengers during a crash.

The IIHS rates vehicles in four categories:

  1. Frontal – in which the vehicle reaches the speed of 40 mph and strikes a barrier head-on
  2. Side-Impact – in which the vehicle is struck from the side by a simulated vehicle
  3. Rollover – in which a large metal plate strikes the vehicle in an attempt to cause a rollover
  4. Rear-impact – in which the vehicle is struck from the rear

Measurements are taken regarding seat belt effectiveness, seat safety and passenger protection.

For several years, from 1998 through 2001, the Ram had consistently received “poor” IIHS ratings in such areas as protection of head and legs and the vehicle restraint system. In side-impact and rollover tests, in which passenger safety is measured, the Ram also received substandard ratings.

Another group, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, or NHTSA (www.nhtsa.gov), overhauled its new car safety assessment program in 2011 and, for the first time, began crash testing pickup trucks. Four pickups were tested, and the Ram 1500 was rated the lowest, with poor results in several categories.

However, the poor ratings do not seem to deter consumers as sales continue to rise for the full-size pickup. Recent data show that American consumers are once again purchasing new vehicles. Sales figures across the board are up to, or surpassing, the pre-recession days as consumers are making long put-off purchases of new vehicles to replace aging machines. While automakers are more than ready to sell cars, consumers should be aware of safety data and statistics when choosing their next vehicle.