By Aaron Bragman
GM has announced that the crew-cab models of its newly redesigned pickups, the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and GMC Sierra 1500, have earned an industry-first five-star overall safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The two trucks are the first to earn the award since a stricter test came into use for the 2011 model year.
All vehicles for sale in the U.S. are required to pass minimum NHTSA safety requirements, but most manufacturers go above and beyond those requirements knowing that high-scoring vehicles mean a competitive advantage in showrooms. GM added several new features to the 2014 pickups such as a forward collision alert, lane departure warning and safety alert seat (a system vibrates the driver's seat if the vehicle strays from a lane). All of these safety features helped boost the pickups' scores. Along with the five-star overall rating, the two pickups also earned five stars in frontal and side crash tests, and four stars in the rollover test.
GM says the construction of the trucks also helped their scores; the pickups are built with fully boxed frames and extensive use of high-strength steel. The awards are specific to the crew-cab, four-door versions of the Silverado and Sierra, the models tested by the NHTSA. GM says the crew cabs make up 60 percent of all GM pickup sales.