After testing five full-size trucks, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety selected the Toyota Tundra and Ford F-150 as Top Safety Picks for 2011.
Becoming a Top Safety Pick requires a vehicle to score a "good" rating in the front, side, rear, and rollover crash tests. Only Ford F-150s built after February 2011 -- when Ford revised the truck's roof structure, allowing it to withstand forces 4.7 times the vehicle's weight -- earn the lofty Top Safety Pick designation. Interestingly, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration awarded the 2011 Ford F-150 scored a four-star overall rating out of a possible five stars based upon its own testing.
The Toyota Tundra was also named as a Top Safety Pick, thanks to its previous "good" test scores in the front, side, and rear impact results, along with the ability for its roof to withstand a force of 4.5 times its weight. Like the Ford, the Toyota has a four-star overall safety rating at the NHTSA.
The Nissan Titan is next in line with the IIHS's ratings. The Titan's "acceptable" rating was limited by the truck's strength-to-weight ratio of about 3.6 -- a rating of at least 4 is required for a "good" rating. A current NHTSA rating for the Titan is unavailable, as the agency has yet to test the truck to its revised NCAP standards.
Unfortunately, other full-size pickups didn't fare quite as well in the IIHS' testing. The 2011 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and Ram 1500 each earned a "marginal" rating from the IIHS. According to the NHTSA's results, the Silverado earned a four-star overall rating, while the Ram scored three stars overall.
Source: IIHS, NHTSA