Pickup trucks’ popularity makes roads more dangerous

| Mar 18, 2021 | bicycle accidents, car accidents |

The pickup truck was once the vehicular equivalent of the humble draft horse. Farmers and working folk used it to haul tools, raw materials or other job-related stuff to the worksite. Now they are $50,000 (on average) luxury vehicles with all the bells and whistles. Along with the higher price tag, the average truck model has added 1,300 pounds for a total of 7,000 pounds. Despite this trend, pickups made up five of the top 10 slots for the most popular vehicle models of 2020. Fitted with a back seat as a crew cab or four-door model, modern-day pickups are driven by dads hauling sports gear for kids rather than hay bales.

Bigger is not safer

The changes in these mega trucks generally make the vehicles increasingly dangerous to pedestrians, cyclists and even those in other cars.  The evidence includes:

  • Blind spots: Many advertise rear-viewing cameras, but there are blind spots that range from eight to 10 feet (a Camry has one to three feet), making it difficult to operate in the city where there are more pedestrians, bicyclists and small cars.
  • Higher center of gravity: These vehicles sit up higher, which means that they hit pedestrians and cyclists in the body rather than the legs. It also means that smaller cars can get run over, crushing the occupants inside. And finally, it can lead to the pickup rolling over rather than sliding sideways.
  • Spray: The special tires with the thick tread slings debris and water further behind the vehicle than a car with average tires.
  • Headlights: While the jacked-up trucks sit high, the lights are rarely adjusted to illuminate the road better, making it harder to identify obstacles. This also means that drivers in front of the truck have powerful headlights shining directly through the rear window and reflecting off the side mirrors.
  • Harmful to women: Women (who tend to drive smaller vehicles) suffer a higher number of injuries and fatalities on the road than men, despite being more cautious drivers who get in fewer crashes.

Owners choose their vehicles

We all make choices when it comes to the car or truck we drive. When owners choose large trucks or dangerous vehicles, they still should be held accountable for damage and injury caused by the vehicle. Victims and their families can do this with a personal injury attorney who handles motor vehicle accidents.