Ford F150: Safety Features

When it comes to safety, we all trust our trucks. But do you really know what makes your Ford F-150 safe?

By Brett Foote - September 15, 2014

This article applies to the Ford F-150 (2004-2014).

It's amazing to think about how far automotive safety has come in such a short period of time. It wasn't that long ago when cars didn't even come standard with seat belts, and now we have computers that constantly monitor objects around us, even applying brakes when they sense a collision. While you likely already know that your F-150 has a ton of features that make it safe, do you know what they are and how they work? Have no fear, because we are here to tell you all about them.

The Ford F-150 is an exceptionally safe vehicle that has an overall safety rating of 9.3 out of a possible 10 as reported by U.S. News and World Report. With a strong 9.3 safety rating, the Ford F-150 is one of the safest American-made trucks. The F-150 features a number of safety features that aid in this stellar rating, including front and side airbags, electronic stability control, and several towing safety features. There are also components that you must inspect regularly or be aware of to ensure safety, including tires. Let's take a look at each one and what they mean in terms of safety.

Crash Testing

The F-150 has a stellar reputation for holding itself together in the event of a crash. As a matter of fact, the truck has earned The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's five-star rating for driver and passenger frontal crash rating. The F-150 also earned a rating of "good" in frontal offset crash testing performed by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. For models after 2011, the F-150 was named an IIHS Top Safety Pick.


Airbags have made cars much safer in collisions over the years as they have become more and more common in automobiles. They must be used in tandem with seat belts, however, to be effective. It is important to remember that children under the age of 12 should be placed in the back seat, where they are safest. Always take a look at your airbag on/off switch, if you have one, each time you enter your vehicle. The F-150 features a number of airbags, including dual-stage front, safety canopy side, and front seat-mounted side.

Frame Design

The F-150 has a host of additional safety features that help it achieve it's excellent ratings. The truck features a hydroformed steel safety cage for additional crash protection, as well as an SOS post crash alert system that comes standard. High strength steel is used in the frame as well, and collapsible front horns offer protection to passengers by absorbing crash energy and preventing intrusion into the cabin. The frame is fully boxed for rigidity, while allowing flex.

Towing Safety

F-150s come with a number of features that make towing easier and safer. Some of these features include roll stability control, trailer sway control, an electronic locking rear differential, integrated trailer brake controller, and electronic stability control. These features serve to keep your trailer from swaying while underway, and help you maintain control of the load at all times.


Tires are an underrated safety component for any vehicle, and are the sole contact surface your truck has with the ground. Tires should be checked frequently for wear, and kept properly inflated per manufacturer's specifications. Tires should be replaced when tread reaches 2/32's of an inch, or when damaged or weather worn to the point where it affects the structural rigidity of the tire. Tires should be balanced, aligned, and rotated based on manufacturer specifications.

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