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Safety Concerns Regarding Pickups

MotormouthMotormouth Posts: 99
edited February 2014 in General
My main concern regarding pickups stems from those pickups who have
"low back" seats (no headrests) and a standard cab.

I once had an import pickup that was like that. I remember driving
past what appeared to be a minor read-end collision involving a truck
very similar to mine. The rear end of the truck, which had been hit by
a passenger car had minor damage, indicating a relatively low-speed

I later read that the driver of the pickup had been killed because the
impact caused his head to be thrust through the rear window which was
directly behind his head. I assume that, in addition to serious
lacerations, he may also had broken his neck.

I got rid of that pickup fast after that!

Today, many pickups have high-back seats to help prevent that.
However, many have extended cabs where the rear passenger is still at

Have any of you had a similar experience or know of any?

What other safety concerns do you find with pickups?


  • deiseldeisel Posts: 16
    hey motormouth,

    My biggest concern is with towing. I have a fith
    wheel gooseneck horse trailer. It has a emergency
    brake that attaches to the bed of the truck should
    it become un-hitched (god forbid) What most concerns me is that trailer coming loose and rolling through the cab of the truck.
  • dhkimdhkim Posts: 2
    I have 1996 Toyota Tacoma (Extended Cab.) which I bought for the reason of low interest rate (1.9 %),
    and SAFETY that I thought I was getting.
    After I made the purchase, I found out about the
    horrible crash test results on this pickup.
    Not to mention the feeling of betrayal, I am concerned
    about what might happen to me when an accident
    does happen.
    I already made some investment on it (installed bedliner, Leer Cap, and extended warranty.)
    an will lose a lot of money if I sell or trade it.

    i own a 1996 gmc c1500 truck-350 vortex-ext cab-sierra style.
    i just got back from having my fifth(5( set of seat rails replaced. after a few months the seats get loose-make noise-
    i have talked to the dealer and gmc about this condition and they said that they need the extra clearance for the electric seat to adjust properly.
    can you imagine the disaster during a collision with a loose seat(s). the new 1999 model will have all new seat designs-great idea- after many years of complaints.i have filed complaints to nhtsa-lemon law organization-letters to gmc.
    the service rep suggested that i should trade-up my truck in 1999.what a solution.
    do you know anyone with the same problem(s)??
    have a great holiday!!!
  • Bravo Motormouth! Your letter speaks directly to my concern about an extended cab pick-up. I had my heart set on one and recently shlepped my family(wife and 5 & 7 yr old kids)to our local Auto Show. The kids piled excitedly into the back seat and buckled up. Their heads sat up straight in back directly in front of the rear cab plate glass window. I thought, "am I *missing* something here?" Is there really zip zero zilch protection for a whiplash injury back there? Do their little heads just go smashing smack into the plate glass window? Maybe this isn't the vehicle for anyone contemplating hauling kids or anyone else around in the back seat. Why don't we hear more about this hazard? Will the newer trucks do something about this? I'd like to generate some discussion about this and see if others share my concerns.
  • jlflemmonsjlflemmons Posts: 2,242
    Don't feel alone. My '96 Sierra extended cab is on it's second set of seat rails, and these are already starting to come loose. The first set lasted 12k, this set less than 10k. I know of others with this same problem in Suburbans. Had I known, I would have opted for a mechanical seat.

  • I need to update my posting of Sunday, Jan 4.
    Yesterday, while reading Motor Trend's Truck Trend, I saw that the new 1999 GMC/Chevy full size extended cab rear seats are going to have headrests for their passengers! In addition to this, the seatbacks are going to be several inches taller than the current versions. This addresses my concerns about whiplash injury for rear seat passengers and is an important safety improvement.
  • jlflemmonsjlflemmons Posts: 2,242
    My '96 Sierra has adjustable height headrests for the back seat. They are not very comfortable, but they are there. I have to say that when GM went to the new seat style in '95 they took a step backward in my book. I only weigh 165 and the seats are so hard I barely deflect them when I am riding. I guess firm support is good, but it does mean for a rough ride on bumpy roads.

  • richflynnrichflynn Posts: 147
    Interesting comments about the lack of head rests and rear windows. I was always under the impression that (before mandated head restraints) it was observed that people in pickups had less severe injuries to heads and necks when rear ended. The studies showed that the rear window in a pick up truck was actually a safety device that prevented injuries. As a result of these studies, the 600 or so automotive safety experts in Washington DC mandated that we all have head restraints in our vehicles. Thus today's high seat backs and head restraints.
  • dburrowdburrow Posts: 11
    Safety chains ?
  • dburrowdburrow Posts: 11
    btw-that last post was intended for deisel.
  • KB5UMSKB5UMS Posts: 2
    hi folks.. im new to town hall. i have been truck shopping for about a yr now.
  • KB5UMSKB5UMS Posts: 2
    are there any safety concerns that you know about for the 97/98 dakota or ram ext cab? where would i find crash tests online?
  • I need advice on how to shop for a pickup to put a camper on for a light-weight travelers. Thanks to any who've experienced this.
  • N/AN/A Posts: 11
    To Knockout:

    The primary thing to keep in mind is that truck manufacturers, for YEARS, have laughed with glee that the safety standards for cars were NOT applicable to trucks. Therefore, they didn't have to worry about things like 5 mph impact bumpers, head restraints, etc.

    This is why, historically, in low mph crashes, especially from behind, SUVs and pickup trucks have almost always suffered more damage than a passenger car.

    What was misleading sometimes was the dollar amount of damage since there just isn't much in the back end of a pickup compared to a car. But take a look at repair bills for SUVS and you'll see what I mean.

    Since the industry wasn't REQUIRED to take the same steps towards ensuring the safety of the passengers in trucks, they never bothered to address this "head through the rear window" problem... no one was forcing them to.

    Then, a few years back, after two family members were killed when the pickup they were riding in was hit from behind by a car traveling no more than 30 mph. The family sued and won a significant amount.

    Suddenly, the industry developed a conscience. Or rather, became aware of the financial liability (to them it's one in the same).

    Now, you have a number of truck manufacturers providing better protection for the head vis a vis the built-in head rests.

    See? The industry has a heart. It only takes a large lost lawsuit to grab their attention. Of course, it often means that a number of people have to die first, but what else is new?

    To Richflynn:
    Specifically what "studies" do you refer to? I fail to see how the idea of nothing behind your head but a breakable glass object can be viewed as a "safety device." If the window doesn't shatter, your head does. But in all likelyhood, the glass will shatter. If you're lucky, it will be the kind of safety glass that shatters into harmless shards. Of course that still means you'll wind up with a concussion, but that probably won't be noticed since your neck will most likely snap backwards (in a rear end collision) so fast and so far that your spinal column will probably sever, preventing you from feeling even the deepest gashes. Thanks just the same... I prefer a head restraint.
  • damcardamcar Posts: 2
    If anyone out there owns a 1992 F-150 4x4 XLT Supercab short bed in the 2 tone brown, 5.8L, loaded with goodies, that was probably purchased in the east or central states, please look behind your glove box for a registration sticker. If you find one then post it here or e-mail me and I will get back to you with the details of this truck if the vin# is correct. I know it went back east somewhere from the dealer and would be very interested in "Disclosure Details" of sale. I still have original papers, so will only give info for a correct vin#.
  • I have recently seen a report from DOT on '97 F150 and Expeditions; Action #PE97-033, dated July 14 1997. The problem reads "wheel seperation from vehicle". This appears to be an investigation in progress that was opened in Oct. '97. Does anyone out there have more info on this or can tell me where to go for more info. Thanks
  • Is anyone familiar with the driver's seat in the 1995 Ford Ranger extended cab completely reclining in a rear impact car accident of 40+ miles an hour? This occurred to me on 1-13-98. The action of the seat reclining caused my head to go through the back window. Incidentally, the air bag never deployed eventhough there were several other impacts that were made with other cars. Who can I report this to so that it does not happen to anyone else?
  • richflynnrichflynn Posts: 147
    I'm trying to re-call the source of the information concerning head restraints, pickups and rear windows. All I can remember was that when I purchased either my '68 Camaro or '69 Chevy Wagon there were newspaper articles about the head restraints. It was stated that people in pickups suffered less 'whip lash' injuries because their head usually hit the back window. Maybe there were more cuts to the scalp but less spinal and soft tissue injuries. I don't know about you but I would rather have my head bounce off of the rear window of a pickup than my sholder blades.

    There was an interesting statement rear end damage being excessive on pcikups and SUVs. (I can not speak for SUVs.) Recently I was hit in a three vehicle deal. The rear most vehicle hat the center vehicle which hit me. The center vehicle (a stick shift) and I were stopped. I would guess that the culprit was going between 15 and 20 Mph at impact. The center vehicle was towed away. The rear vehicle should have been; but it was a rental and the driver took it to the return lot. The only "real" damage on my truck was the trailer electrical connector was bent beyond starightening and the bumber was slightly tweaked. My insurance company replaced both connector and bumper and the rental car company paid about $450. From 5 feet I couldn't see enough damage to the bumper to warrant replacing but I wasn't going to argue. The guy in the center car was, like me, stopped and waiting for the light. Both of us had only light pressure on the brake. My back was sore for a while and I got a good jolt. The high back seat saved me from whip lash. The guy in the center car was ok but obviously banged up. I'm sure that the next day he didn't want to get out of bed!

    So there is one for the high seat back and very little damage to my F-250.

  • Has anyone heard anything about recent accidents caused by the 97 F150 Front-end problem?
  • See #16, I am also seeking info on this problem.If you get any new info please post it here.
  • Has anyone had front brake problems with 96 Dodge Ram pickups. I had to replace the discs at 23,000 miles. Only one disc was making contact with the rotors.
  • I am looking for a head pad to stick to the rear window of my truck cab to prevent my head from getting whiplashed backward if I get rear ended.
    I have no headrest on my 1990 GMC C1500 Pickup.
    Does anyone know where I can buy this item?
  • RufusRufus Posts: 1
    My sister is going to buy an 87 Jeep Laredo. It has 170,000 miles on it, original engine, tranny, it is loaded to the teeth and it is a 4wd. Has anyone heard anything bad about the model year and if so is there something I should tell her to look out for? The guy is asking 3500.00 for it. According to Edmunds, that is a reasonable price but I'm uneasy about the mileage on the vehicle.
  • The problem I have been concerned with may be isolatrd to the wheel itself and not the front end. I have heard that some of the "steel" wheels have bad welds and come apart.
  • thanks jlflemmons--
    i have been raising all kinds of hell with gmc.
    if you need a good lawyer for help-check out this great web
    i called yesterday to check it out-and the guy was great-gave me ideas to get results.lemon laws can cause car companies plenty of grief.
    ps-ill be going back for #6 seat rails this month.
  • I know we've been talking a lot about the GMC seat rails, but I have a safety concern about Toyota Tacoma's. I'll be graduating college in a few months now, and I need something to carry around a lot of gear. A mini-truck sounded like a good idea, but the only one that measured up to my needs was an Xtra Cab Tacoma 4x4.

    Overall I was very pleased with the design and specifications..even went for a test drive and found it much more refined than any of it's competition.

    But imagine my disappointment when I saw those crash test scores! I love the truck, but I don't want to die in it. I'm not planning on having passengers in the Xtracab, just gear. The head reast issue isn't too big a deal for me.

    I see that for 1998 the Tacoma has dual airbags, but has Toyota done anything else in '98 to improve 1997's abysmal crash test scores? More body reinforcement perhaps?

    In anybody's opinion is this truck less safe than the little '87 Chevy Nova that I drive now? I could probably drive it with some confidence knowing at least that it's as safe as my Nova was.

    The Taco' at least has ABS and dual airbags. The Nova has neither.

    (Interesting side note, the Tacoma and my Nova were both built at the same plant. The NUMMI plant in Freemont, CA)

    -Kelley in Richmond
  • I am unaware of any improvements on the Toyota this year. Unless they can demonstrate significant changes to the side protection, etc. I would avoid that truck. Is it safer than your Nova? Yes, but then so are most soap box derby cars.

    If you're going to spend that much money, why not consider a one or two year old (lease return) pick up with better protection? Or even new since the price of the Dakota is in the same ballpark. And it has much better test scores, I believe.
  • Rob11Rob11 Posts: 1
    Does anyone know what changes were made to the 1998 Tacoma that increased it's NHTSA test crash rating from 1 star in 1997 to 4 stars this year?
  • help, I am looking for a SUV and I don't know which one to get! I really wanted a minivan but feel a SUV would be safer. I think I like the passport by honda. Any thoughts?
  • Ryan30Ryan30 Posts: 1
    I'm looking for a pick up, but I'm not sure if a ranger or a dakota would be better can anyone help any opinions?
This discussion has been closed.