The United States National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has given five-star overall safety ratings -- the highest possible -- to the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra. NHTSA gave five-star ratings to the Silverado and Sierra 1500, as well as the Silverado High Country and Sierra Denali, making them the first large pickups get such ratings since Us regulators implemented a tougher rating system for the 2011 model year, according to General Motors.
NHTSA's new ratings entail tests for side pole crashes and crash avoidance technologies. The pickups gained five stars on NHTSA’s frontal- and side-crash tests and four stars on the rollover test -- with the overall rating a combination of those ratings. The top ratings provide GM giving a marketing edge over rival pickups, which at the best, received overall four-star ratings.
Some of those pickups, like the 2013 Ford F-150, Ram 1500 and Toyota Tundra were given overall four-star ratings from NHTSA. The agency has yet to rate the 2014 Toyota Tundra. The outgoing 2013 Silverado and Sierra also received four stars from NHTSA. GM launched the 2014 pickups in late spring. NHTSA tested only the 2014 crew-cab models, which according to GM will account for around 60 percent of its light-duty pickup sales.
Gay Kent, GM general director of vehicle safety and crashworthiness, said in a statement, that the Silverado and Sierra set a benchmark for pickup truck safety by "offering a full array of advanced features designed to protect occupants before, during and after a collision.” GM said the top ratings were achieved thanks to the pickups' fully boxed frames, extensive use of high-strength steel and several high-tech safety features.
The trucks boast of new safety features like safety alert seat that provides a warning of a pending collision via directional vibrations in the seat cushion and the forward collision alert that provides audible warnings when the pickup is closing in too quickly on the vehicle ahead. Another safety feature is the trailer-sway control that senses when the trailer is swaying and intervenes by braking or by reducing engine power.