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2021 Ram 1500 earns Top Safety Pick, the only pickup to do so

The truck that nabbed the award has $10,000 worth of optional equipment, bear in mind.

2019 Ram 1500
One safe pickup.
Emme Hall/Roadshow

For 2020, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety updated its requirements to win a Top Safety Pick or Top Safety Pick Plus, setting the bar a whole lot higher to earn an award. The 2021 Ram 1500, however, met the bar for a Top Safety Pick, the IIHS said on Friday.

Not only did it earn the award, it's the only pickup truck to take the accolade home in 2020. Like so many of these awards, though, they come with an asterisk. The 2021 Ram 1500 technically only meets all of the IIHS' criteria with specific headlights and optional active safety equipment. You'll need to spec the truck with the front-crash prevention system that can now detect pedestrians and the fancy headlights to actually get an IIHS-approved pickup. You'll spend an extra $10,000 over a base Ram 1500 to get everything required to take home the exact truck that earned the award.

But even without the technology and headlights, the Ram 1500 aced the six crashworthiness evaluations -- the first and most important credentials on the road to a Top Safety Pick. As for why a Top Safety Pick Plus didn't happen, it comes down to those mentioned rule changes. IIHS-rated Good or Acceptable headlights must be standard across the board, and that's not the case for the Ram.

Nevertheless, Ram has some serious advertising ammunition with the TSP award under its belt.

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