Truck Accident Lawyer
It is not a secret that large commercial trucks are inherently unsafe. Their weight, sheer size, and imprecise capacity to maneuver in an instant means that they are notoriously less safe than cars tend to be. However, the reality that lightweight trucks are becoming increasingly unsafe has recently begun garnering attention from the media, safety advocates, and government regulators alike. It turns out that it isn’t just large commercial trucks that are unsafe. Lightweight trucks are unsafe too.
Why Are These Vehicles Becoming Less Safe?
As an experienced truck accident lawyer – including those who practice at Davis, Johnson & Kallal – can confirm, the risk of injurious collisions intensifies when the vehicles involved are structured in certain ways. Think of lighter motor vehicles on a spectrum. On the one hand, you have motorcycles, which lack a protective structure and leave riders uniquely vulnerable in a crash as a result. On the other hand, you have lightweight trucks, which are so large, long, and heavy that they make surrounding travelers more vulnerable simply because they can cause more destruction than an average car can in the event of a collision.
Pickup trucks are popular for a variety of reasons. They serve as excellent work-related vehicles for individuals – like construction professionals – who may need to haul oversize material on a regular basis as part of their job description. Woodworkers, artists who specialize in certain mediums, and even gardening enthusiasts also tend to like lightweight trucks because they allow them to pursue their passions in easier ways than they’d be able to if they could only haul materials in a sedan.
Yet, it is the ever-expanding footprint of pickup trucks – which allows these individuals the freedom to their jobs and/or pursue their passions – that is making these vehicles less and less safe over time. The safety of a vehicle cannot be measured by its safety rating concerning its driver and passengers alone. The safety of a vehicle must also consider how its structure and performance may impact those who encounter it in the event of a crash. It is the dangers to non-occupants that are rendering current models of pickup trucks far less safe than they used to be.
How Has the Structure of Pickups Changed?
Modern pickups are taller than they used to be, which results in visibility issues (especially in left-turn scenarios), line-of-sight limitations for drivers, and the increased likelihood that pedestrians who are struck by these trucks will be hit close to their vital organs. The height at which truck drivers sit now also makes them much more likely to strike small children, and individuals traveling via wheelchairs and other apparatus that move low to the ground. This is due to a unique front-facing blind spot that develops at the driver’s seat height now occupied by pickup truck drivers.
The weight of an average pickup truck has also increased by a full one-third since the early 1990s, which means that when these vehicles are involved in collisions, they collide with pedestrians, cyclists, and other vehicles with far more force than they used to.