In 2015, Ford solved this problem by incorporating steel horns — known by most engineers as wheel blockers — onto the frame of some F-150 versions. (It later spread the wheel blockers across all F-150s.) The wheel blockers redirect the energy of the collision away from the passenger cabin.
Other automakers took note but kept developing their own solutions for their next generation of pickups.
For the redesigned 2019 Ram 1500, FCA incorporated what it calls a "splayed" frame, spreading the leading elements of the frame outward on each side of the pickup — and protecting the wheel in the process.
FCA kept the wheel blockers aft of the front wheels but also incorporated other energy management structures into its design to direct the energy from a crash away from passengers. The changes were sufficient enough to win the Ram its first "good" rating in all six IIHS crash tests.
This year before the Ram pickup was tested, the latest version of the Nissan Titan joined the Ford F-150 as the only full-size pickups to earn a "good" rating in the small offset crash test.
Like Ford, Nissan modified its frame in late 2017 to improve passenger protections by redirecting the wheel away from the passenger cabin.
While the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra have yet to be crash tested by IIHS, GM has improved the pickups' frames and incorporated other technologies to keep the front wheels from entering the cabin. The 2016 Silverado double cab earned an "acceptable" rating from IIHS, while its 2016 crew cab was rated "marginal."