Ford F-250: Crash Test and Safety Ratings

Learn about the various crash tests conducted, your risk of injury, and safety ratings for your Ford truck.

November 4, 2014

This article applies to the Ford 250, F-350 Super Duty (2005-2014).

The F-250 seems tough and durable when you're driving it, but does it meet expectations when it comes to real world safety? Today's consumer can count of a combination of durable structures and the latest technology to prevent crashes than ever before. Whether you've just purchased a new model of the F-250 or you have a slightly older truck, it's a good idea to know just how safe the vehicle is. There are two agencies that many consumers count on for accurate crash test ratings and results. These agencies include the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHSTA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Although there are some differences between these two agencies, they offer results from government and private testing and give the most accurate safety ratings for your truck.


The NHTSA is a federal government organization that performs a number of tests on as many vehicles as possible each year. The organization performs crashes in specific areas that may result in injury during a car crash, including front impact, side impact, and rollover. To assess how well a vehicle holds up in these areas, the NHTSA uses crash test dummies for its frontal crash and side barrier crash tests.

The frontal crash tests evaluate the overall risk of injury to the head, neck, chest, and legs for the driver and the front seat passenger. The side barrier crash test examines the risk of injury in an intersection-type collision, using a 3,015-pound barrier moving at a rate of 38.5 miles per hour into a standing vehicle. Rollover accidents have a higher fatality rate than other types of crashes, but if you're wearing your seatbelt, you are 75 percent less likely to be killed in such an accident. New technologies in modern F-250s and other vehicles, such as Electronic Stability Control (ESC) and rollover air bags, can reduce the risk of injury or death in a rollover.

Test DescriptionF-250Chevrolet Silverado 2500HDGMC Sierra 2500HD
Front, Driver 4 Stars 3 Stars 3 Stars
Overall Front 4 Stars 3 Stars 3 Stars
Front, Passenger 4 Stars 3 Stars 3 Stars
Overall Rollover Rating 4 Stars 3 Stars 3 Stars
Overall 4 Stars 3 Stars 3 Stars
Overall Side 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars
Side, Barrier 5 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars
Driver Side Barrier 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars
Passenger Side Barrier 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars
Side, Pole 3 Stars 1 Star 1 Star
Pole Barrier Combined (Front) 5 Stars 2 Stars 2 Stars
Pole Barrier Combined (Rear) 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars

Results are for the 2012 Ford F-250 Lariat 4x2 SD Crew Cab 6.75 ft. box 156 in.

These test results are from similar years and models of the F-250's primary competitors, the Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD and the GMC Sierra 2500HD. The F-250 earned several 4 and 5-star ratings including 5-star ratings in the truck's overall side and side barrier tests. The F-250 only received one 3-star rating, for its side pole test, out of the 12 tests that were conducted overall.

Figure 1. In 2012, the F-250 received a 4-star rating in the overall front crash test.


The IIHS is an independent nonprofit organization dedicated to reducing losses, including deaths, injuries, and property damage from accidents. The organization performs a number of tests on select vehicles each year. These tests include frontal crash, side crash, roof strength, and head and seat restraints. In recent years, the organization added front crash prevention and small overlap frontal tests. The small overlap frontal test was introduced in 2012 and is designed to replicate a real world accident when the front corner of a vehicle collides with another vehicle or an object such as a tree.

In an effort to stay on top of current safety trends and better previous safety crash test results, auto manufacturers, including Ford, continuously make essential changes and upgrades to their vehicles. However, the IIHS cannot test every vehicle each year due to time and budget constraints. In addition, the Institute does not conduct tests for every redesigned vehicle, especially if the previous year's model earned good ratings in side crashes and at least moderate ratings in the overlap frontal test. The Ford F-250 is not one of the vehicles recently tested by the IIHS. However, its strong safety scores are noted in the NHTSA's tests.

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