Rivian R1T earns top IIHS safety award, watch it get crash tested here

Rivian R1T earns top IIHS safety award, watch it get crash tested here

The 2022-2023 Rivian R1T has earned the highest safety rating, Top Safety Pick+, from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

The IIHS is one of the US’ main automotive safety rating organizations, along with the NHTSA. While the NHTSA is a government agency, IIHS is a private organization funded by insurance companies. Europe has it’s own rating agency, Euro NCAP.

IIHS and NHTSA ratings have similar goals, but the organizations use different testing procedures and will occasionally reach different results. The IIHS views its work as complementary to NHTSA’s, augmenting the government agency’s five-star rating system with additional crash testing information. IIHS tells consumers that they should look for 4+ stars in government testing and either a “good” or “Top Safety Pick” recommendation from themselves.

The NHTSA has not yet released a rating for the Rivian R1T, though it started testing earlier this year. We hope and expect to hear the results of those tests soon.

IIHS’ testing scores vehicles across six crash tests, and to earn a Top Safety Pick rating, a vehicle must get the highest rating in all tests. The tests are driver- and passenger-side small overlap front, moderate overlap front, side, roof strength and head restraint tests. It also must have an advanced or superior front crash avoidance system which activates to help inattentive drivers prevent vehicle or pedestrian crashes.

In addition to these tests, to get the even higher Top Safety Pick+ rating, the vehicle must meet additional requirements for headlight quality and these headlights must be standard across all trims.

IIHS stated that the Rivian met all of these requirements, and gave it the organization’s top reward:

The crew cab pickup meets all the requirements for the higher-tier award. All trims come with good-rated LED projector headlights and a standard front crash prevention system that earns superior ratings in both the vehicle-to-vehicle and daytime vehicle-to-pedestrian tests.

IIHS also released photos and videos of the crash tests, showing the aftermath of the small and moderate overlap testing. We’ve included their comments as photo captions.

The Rivian R1T is one of two current pickup trucks to earn IIHS’ Top Safety Pick+ award, the other being the Toyota Tundra. It is the only electric truck to win this award yet. Several other electric cars and SUVs have won the award, such as the Kia EV6, Hyundai IONIQ 5, Tesla Model 3/Y, Audi e-tron, and others. You can search for winning vehicles on IIHS’ website.

Here is a full breakdown of IIHS’ testing procedures

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