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Newer pickups put passengers at higher risk for injury, death

Modern two-row pickups are putting passengers at a higher risk for injury and death than drivers. Pickup owners in New York should know that this was the conclusion of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety after a series of driver- and passenger-side small overlap frontal crash tests. Eleven pickups were involved, and the IIHS report gave each one a rating from "poor" to "good" regarding driver- and passenger-side safety.

The study strongly indicates that automakers are focusing on driver safety to the detriment of front passenger safety. Nine of the pickups scored a "good" rating on the driver's side with only two, the Toyota Tundra and Nissan Frontier, receiving a "marginal" score. On the other hand, only three scored a "good" rating on the passenger's side -- the Ford F-150, Ram 1500 and Nissan Titan.

The Toyota Tundra's passenger side had the worst performance, netting a "poor" rating. Above that were five pickups with "marginal" performance: the Chevrolet Silverado 1500, Chevrolet Colorado, GMC Canyon, GMC Sierra 1500 and Nissan Frontier. Lastly, the Honda Ridgeline and Toyota Tacoma were rated "acceptable."

The Tundra's poor performance was surprising in light of Toyota's reputation for strong safety performance. However, the Tundra has an aging design (the last redesign occurred in 2014) whereas some of the other pickups have recently been overhauled.

A passenger who is seriously injured in a motor vehicle crash through no fault of their own may be able to file a third-party insurance claim after filing with their own insurance company first. This is a no-fault state, and restrictions are in place as to who can file a third-party claim. Therefore, a victim may want a lawyer to assess the case before moving forward. The lawyer could hire third parties to bring evidence together before beginning negotiations for a settlement.

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