If it seems like pickup trucks keep getting bigger with each new year, it’s not your imagination. They are. They’re also getting more popular. Pickups make up about 20% of new vehicle sales.
Their increasing size has also made them more dangerous to anyone in a smaller vehicle – and particularly to pedestrians. But so do some other factors. Consumer Reports (CR) has been studying the dangers of these massive newer-model pickups. Let’s look at a few of their findings.
The front blind spot
The height of the hoods has increased (some 11% since 2000). Thus, there is a large – and deadly — blind spot in the front for drivers that is as much as 11 feet longer than even sedans have. That has at least contributed to the number of “frontover” deaths of pedestrians.
Pickups have also gotten considerably heavier. From 2000 to 2018, the average weight increased by nearly 25%. Their heavy, rugged design appeals to many pickup enthusiasts – who are primarily men.
However, the heavier the vehicle is, the more damage it can do when it collides with a smaller one – or a person who’s not protected by any vehicle. Their weight also makes them less agile if a driver has to stop suddenly or swerve to avoid a collision.
Lack of safety features
Interestingly, even with all of the new features that pickup manufacturers like to advertise, like a pull-down workspace for people whose truck is their office, they often don’t have many of the same safety features that other new vehicle owners take for granted. Many of these missing features, like blind-spot monitoring and automatic emergency braking, are even more necessary on these larger, more dangerous vehicles.
As safety advocates continue to push for these added safety features, all that other drivers, cyclists and pedestrians can do is be aware of a pickup truck’s (and its driver’s) limitations. Don’t assume they can see you, because they may not be able to.
That doesn’t make them any less responsible for a collision they cause, however. If you or a loved one has been injured or worse by a pickup, it’s crucial to seek the compensation you’ll need for short-term and possibly long-term care as well as other expenses and damages.