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Large Trucks And Passenger Pickup Trucks: Injury Risks In Motor Vehicle Collisions

When most people think about the dangers posed by big trucks on the Florida roads, they are thinking about semi-trucks, big rigs, 18-wheelers, and other names for large commercial trucks that often weigh 20 or 30 times as much as a passenger vehicle and thereby causing severe injuries in auto collisions with smaller cars. Yet big rigs are not the only large trucks on the road. To be sure, even a vehicle that weighs double the amount of a smaller passenger car and that has greater ground clearance can pose substantial injury risks to the occupants of that smaller vehicle in the event of a wreck.

Indeed, according to a recent article in Consumer Reports, we need to be paying more attention to pickup trucks and the hazards they pose to other drivers. Pickup trucks, as the article underscores, “are getting larger and becoming a hazard to pedestrians and drivers of smaller vehicles.”

Pickup Trucks and SUVs are Involved in Many Injury-Causing Collisions 

The central takeaway from the new Consumer Reports article is that pickup trucks are getting larger and heavier than they used to be, and they are causing more serious and fatal injuries when they strike pedestrians and cars on the road. To be sure, the article cites one pedestrian accident case in which an older woman was killed in a crosswalk after being struck by a pickup truck driven by an 18-year-old motorist. While pedestrian collisions can lead to debilitating injuries no matter what the size of the vehicle might be, the survivors of the deceased in this case argue that the fatally injured pedestrian would have “had a greater chance of survival if she had not been struck by such a large vehicle.”

Are pickup trucks really that dangerous? The data suggests that they are associated with more serious and fatal injuries. These vehicles are more likely to be involved in a “frontover collision,” which is a crash in which “a driver hits someone in their front blind spot while maneuvering in a driveway or parking lot.” Given that pickup trucks tend to sit much higher off the ground, children and even small adults can easily pass within this front blind spot, leading to a deadly collision. Indeed, from 1990 to 2019, 931 total frontover fatalities occurred, and the majority of the victims were toddlers. In 80 percent of the identified frontover fatalities, the vehicle that crashes into the pedestrian was a pickup truck, an SUV, or a van.

Big Pickup Trucks Are More Dangerous Than You Might Think

As the article explains, there is a relatively new “cultural phenomenon of enduring consumer demand for bigger everyday trucks, some of which don’t come with important safety features as standard equipment.” Beyond this major issue, these vehicles are also simply taller and heavier—markedly so—in comparison with smaller cars.

To be sure, “research has found that modern pickups‚ which can have tall hoods, large blind spots, and stiff body-on-frame designs, and which can often exceed 4,000 pounds—are particularly deadly in crashes with pedestrians and smaller, lighter vehicles.” To put that information in perspective, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports that the average weight of a compact car is around 2,900 pounds, while the average weight of a larger vehicle like a pickup truck or SUV is over 4,400 pounds.

Contact a West Palm Beach Auto Accident Lawyer 

If you or someone you love sustained serious injuries in a collision, our Stuart car accident attorneys can help. Contact Lesser Lesser Landy & Smith PLLC today.



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