Have you noticed that pickup trucks are getting bigger? It’s hard not to notice their size when a mega truck is blocking your line of sight. Since 2000, the hood height of full-sized trucks has grown by 11 percent, while vehicle weights have increased by almost 1,300 pounds on average, according to an analysis by Consumer Reports researchers. Many consumers have gravitated to these supersized pickups as a lifestyle choice.
Pickup trucks account for about one in five of all new vehicle sales today. Big pickup trucks such as the Ford F-Series, Chevrolet Silverado, Ram 1500, and Nissan Titan are popular. But big pickup trucks also pose certain dangers to others on the road, especially to pedestrians and drivers of smaller vehicles.
At Joye Law Firm, we’ve seen firsthand the serious injuries a vehicle occupant or pedestrian can suffer in an accident with a large pickup. For more than 50 years, our attorneys have worked to protect the rights and interests of injured victims across South Carolina and to advocate for a safer community. Our legal team has a track record of securing successful results on behalf of our clients.
When you need skilled legal representation to help with an accident claim, our attorneys are ready to assist you. Joye Law Firm has offices in Summerville, Charleston, Columbia, Clinton, and Myrtle Beach to serve you. Learn how Joye Law Firm may be able to help you hold accountable the driver of a big pickup truck who injured you.
Contact us today for a free case review.
The Market Wants Bigger
Although full-size trucks have always been popular among construction workers and craftsmen for the utility they can provide on the job, many consumers are purchasing full-sized trucks as a personal style choice. Consumers cite the practicality of pickup trucks, their rugged styling, and the feeling of safety that such a large vehicle provides passengers.
The growing consumer demand for big pickup trucks has been accompanied by growth in the size of the vehicles. Manufacturers understandably feel pressure to compete with one another to offer consumers the biggest, toughest, most rugged-looking truck on the market.
The growing dimensions and weights of full-sized pickup trucks have served to increase the danger to others on the road. For example, the hood of a Jeep Gladiator sits 45.5 inches high, while the hood of the Ford F-250 reaches 55 inches off the ground.
This means that the hood of many full-size trucks sits higher than the roofs of many passenger vehicles and the hood is taller than most young children.
In addition, the weight of full-size trucks now regularly exceeds 4,000 pounds. That means that even in a low-speed accident, a full-size truck can impart a much greater force upon impact.
The growing dimensions of big pickup trucks have also resulted in an increase in the size of the blind spots of these vehicles. Because of their height and hood length, full-size pickup trucks can have front blind spots between seven and 11 feet longer than sedans or SUVs, according to Consumer Reports.
This means an increased risk of the driver a full-size pickup driver not being able to see a pedestrian, vehicle, or other objects in front of their truck.
Many victims in pedestrian accidents involving full-size pickups are children, particularly toddlers between one and two years old.
Given the height of pickup truck hoods and the blind spots they cause, young children standing in front of the truck may not be visible to a driver. The tall, flat surface of a pickup truck’s front end may also increase the severity of an impact with a pedestrian, who may suffer significant or life-threatening injuries.
Safety advocates point out that large truck manufacturers have the option of designing safer vehicles. They could potentially lower the hoods of these vehicles and lower the bumpers to help reduce severe injuries.
They could reduce the weight of large trucks or design the front end to be less imposing. However, manufacturers are incentivized to try to meet consumer demand for a certain lifestyle image that these large trucks represent.
Many sedans and SUVs come equipped with safety technology, such as blind-spot monitoring, rear collision avoidance, and pedestrian detection. These technologies can provide audible warnings to a driver when a pedestrian, vehicle, or other object moves into the path of their vehicle, or even automatically deploy the vehicle’s brakes to prevent a collision.
However, many brand new full-size pickup trucks only come with these potentially life-saving safety technologies at an additional cost or don’t offer these safety features at all. For example, pedestrian detection systems are not available for the Chevrolet Silverado or Jeep Gladiator. The Ram 1500 has it as an extra-cost option. The Toyota Tundra, Nissan Titan, and Ford F-150 do come with pedestrian protection systems as standard.
The increasing weight of full-size trucks also has meant that these vehicles’ braking distances have grown as well. Many truck models exceed two tons in gross vehicle weight. Because these vehicles are not designed for performance on the road, they don’t stop as quickly as a passenger sedan. This makes it harder for pickup truck drivers to avoid collisions with pedestrians or with other vehicles or objects if they even see them before the collision.
Contact Joy Law Firm Today
If you have been injured in a collision with a big pickup truck or struck by a big pickup truck while walking down the street or crossing an intersection, contact a pedestrian accident attorney at Joye Law Firm. Call at 888-324-3100 today for a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss your legal rights to pursue a claim for compensation against the negligent or reckless driver at fault for your injuries.