The “K-Bag”, an in-seat inflatable restraint, uses two K-shaped lobes to shield passengers’ most vulnerable thorax areas in a crash. The K-bag deploys 30 percent faster than conventional side airbags, and works in conjunction with seatbelts, front airbags, and roof curtain airbags to protect occupants in a variety of crash scenarios.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s side crash test uses a deformable barrier with dimensions similar to a passenger car, while the IIHS’s barrier simulates the stature of a pickup or SUV. While all full-size trucks performed well in NHTSA’s side impact test, only the Ford F-150 and Toyota Tundra have earned an IIHS “Top Safety Pick” recommendation. The Dodge Ram, equipped with standard side airbags, earned a “marginal” rating from the IIHS, while the Chevrolet Silverado earned the Institute’s “poor” rating both with and without optional side airbags.
Crash test photos and rankings for each full-size pickup are available on the IIHS website.
In other pickup safety news, all 2010 Ford Rangers will be equipped with conventional side airbags. No word yet on whether the Ranger’s rear jumpseats will be fitted with ejection capability to enhance passenger safety.