Rivian R1T crash-tested by IIHS, earns top safety distinction


The Rivian R1T is the first electric pickup truck ever run through the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) testing regimen—and it received high marks.

The IIHS announced on Friday that the R1T had earned its highest Top Safety Pick+ safety award. The award, which applies to 2022 and 2023 R1T models, encompasses crash-test scores and ratings for safety-related features like headlights and crash-prevention tech.

To receive a Top Safety Pick+ award, vehicles must earn the top “Good” score in all six IIHS crash-test categories, including driver- and passenger-side small-overlap front, moderate overlap front, original side, roof strength, and head restraint tests.

2022 Rivian R1T IIHS crash testing

2022 Rivian R1T IIHS crash testing

 

Top Safety Pick+ status means the R1T also earned high ratings for its standard headlights and front-crash prevention system. All trims come with “Good”-rated LED projector headlights and a front-crash prevention system that earned the highest “Superior” rating in both vehicle-to-vehicle and daytime vehicle-to-pedestrian tests.

The Rivian R1T was one of our finalists last year for Best Car To Buy. We found it nearly faultless in its mission as a personal electric truck. These IIHS safety ratings are another feather in Rivian’s cap, although the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) hasn’t published safety ratings for the R1T, and neither the IIHS nor the NHTSA has done so for the related Rivian R1S SUV. 

There are now several EVs on the IIHS Top Safety Pick+ list, including the Tesla Model 3 and Model Y, Kia EV6, Hyundai Ioniq 5, Volkswagen ID.4, and Audi Q4 E-Tron, among others. No other electric pickups have made the list thus far, though, and in fact the Toyota Tundra was the only other pickup of any kind named a Top Safety Pick+ for 2022.

While a number of EVs have been given top safety ratings, there is growing concern of the greater weight of EVs, and what that would mean in collisions with lighter and/or older internal-combustion vehicles. Those concerns are at an extreme in the 9,000-pound GMC Hummer EV, which has also arrived in the past year.

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