Over the last 20 years, the size of new pickups truck models has grown larger and larger. The grille of these trucks has become higher and bigger – to the point some almost look menacing on the street. However, as supersize pickup trucks have grown in size, so have the accident risks for pedestrians and bicyclists.
Larger trucks have larger blind spots, grilles and weights
With larger trucks, drivers now have larger blind spots. So, it is easier for a driver not to see a pedestrian or cyclist in their blind spot. With a truck with a large grille, a driver can easily mow down a pedestrian or bicyclist, crushing them under the truck. Also, now some supersize trucks weigh 7,000 pounds – about the same as three Honda Civics. So, when a large truck that weighs so much is involved in a crash, it carries more force. That ends up causing more injuries in a crash and can be deadly for bicyclists and pedestrians.
Pedestrian and bicyclist deaths on the rise
In 2019, more than 6,200 pedestrians died in accidents with vehicles, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. That represented a 51% increase since 2009. Safety experts say two main factors have contributed to the increase in pedestrian accident deaths:
- More drivers are driving while distracted.
- More drivers are driving larger trucks and SUVs, which carry more force in accidents.
The increase in larger, heavier pickups and SUVs also has led to more bicyclists being killed in crashes. Plus, women, who are more likely to drive smaller vehicles, also are losing their lives in crashes with supersize vehicles.
Those who survive an accident with a large truck or SUV are likely to have devastating injuries. They may face months of recovery if they suffer a severe traumatic brain injury or spine injury. They may suffer a life-long disability, such as paralysis, as a result of a crash.
For those who suffer such devastating injuries or lose a loved one in a crash with a supersize vehicle, they need to consult a personal injury attorney. Crash survivors can receive compensation to pay for their injury costs. Those who lose loved ones in vehicle accidents can file a wrongful death claim, to hold a negligent driver responsible.
It remains to be seen when the trend of consumers choosing supersize vehicles will ebb. For now, pedestrians, cyclists and other motorists will have to be extra careful when sharing the road with these large trucks and SUVs to avoid a catastrophic crash.