When most people decide what type of vehicle to buy, they often look at the safety ratings of their preferred options. But they’re really just focusing on the safety for themselves. They want to know how well the vehicle will protect them in a crash. They haven’t put nearly as much time into thinking about the safety of others.
Take pickup trucks, for example. They’re one of the most popular vehicle types in the United States. While there are some people who do need large trucks for work, many people use them just to commute to the office or take their kids to school. They just like these large vehicles – in part because they feel safe while driving them, even though they aren’t terribly safe for one’s fellow travelers.
The increase in risk
Over the years, American pickup trucks have gotten much larger. Reports now indicate that this shift is creating a far more dangerous situation on the road for almost everyone else who doesn’t drive a pickup.
For instance, some pickup trucks are so tall that a child crossing the street in front of the vehicle would be essentially invisible. There’s a massive blind spot in front of the hood. Some modern trucks even come up to the shoulder of an adult, meaning they tower over a child. But it’s not just pedestrians who are in danger from these blind spots. Cyclists are also being hit at an increasing rate, as are those driving smaller vehicles.
Speaking of smaller vehicles, the amount of mass that a vehicle takes into a car accident plays a large role in how severe the injuries are that occur as a result of that wreck. A larger vehicle is heavier and has more mass, so it’s going to transfer energy to a smaller vehicle. In other words, someone in a sedan or a coupe is in far more danger than someone in a pickup truck when these two vehicles collide.
The problem with these vehicles is that they inherently make the roads more dangerous. You can become a defensive driver and try to avoid an accident, and everyone would be wise to do so. But some accidents occur regardless of how contentious any individual driver may be, and having a higher percentage of oversized pickup trucks on the road increases the odds that those accidents will be fatal or will lead to severe injuries.