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The dangers of “heavy duty” pickup trucks

On Behalf of | Jan 5, 2023 | Auto Accidents

This area has no shortage of pickup trucks on the road. They can be intimidating for people in cars and even SUVs. That’s particularly true of some of the newer models. As you’ve likely noticed, pickup trucks are significantly larger – and heavier – than they used to be.

Some people basically run their businesses out of their trucks. Campers can haul a week’s worth of supplies in some of them. Some of these “heavy duty” truck owners use them just to run errands around town – especially now that gas prices are coming down.

These trucks, because of their size and weight, can give some drivers a sense of superiority on the road. They can also cause more serious damage and injuries if they’re involved in a crash with a smaller vehicle.

A significant front blind spot

Perhaps the greatest danger they pose is to pedestrians. Because their hoods are higher than ever, the driver has a large blind spot in front of them that pedestrians and other drivers may not realize they have. In fact, one study found that this blind spot is a full 11 feet longer than that of the typical sedans and up to seven feet longer than that of an SUV.

That’s a lot of space for a pedestrian to cross a street who doesn’t realize the oncoming driver can’t see them. This added height and blind spot area has resulted in fatal “frontover” crashes where drivers ran down an unsuspecting pedestrian. Children, of course, and people who use wheelchairs, are most at risk.

Added safety systems can help

Safety professionals have advocated for safety features like forward collision warning (FCW) and automatic emergency braking (AEB) to be mandatory on these vehicles. This would allow the truck to detect someone ahead and apply the brakes, even if the driver doesn’t see them.

Any crash with a heavy duty pickup is likely to result in extremely serious and potentially fatal injuries for those in the smaller vehicle. A pedestrian stands almost no chance against them. Certainly, no amount of compensation can bring justice. However, it can ease some financial burdens for victims and surviving family members moving forward. Having experienced legal guidance can help you seek the compensation you deserve.