Recent insurance industry crash tests have raised safety concerns about small trucks - particularly impacts from the side.
The latest crash tests by the insurance industry raise safety questions about small pickups, which are drawing more interest because they get better mileage than larger trucks.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reported Thursday that several small pickups from the 2008 model year offered dismal protection in side crashes. Versions of the Chevrolet Colorado and its twin vehicle, the GMC Canyon, without optional side air bags earned the institute's lowest rating of poor in the side test.
Several pickups were judged marginal, the second-lowest in the four-scale ratings, in the side tests: the Dodge Dakota and Mitsubishi Raider without optional side air bags; the Ford Ranger; Mazda B-Series; and the Nissan Frontier without side air bags. The Ranger and B-Series, which share the same underpinnings, do not offer side air bags.
Small pick-up trucks have the highest death rates of any vehicle on the road reports Susan Koeppen for CBS. Several of the trucks have poor side-safety ratings due to a lack of a side airbags. Only the Toyota Tacoma received a good rating - it will have side airbags as a standard feature in all of its 2009 models.