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Joseph H. Downer, Attorney

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Why are crashes involving pickup trucks so deadly?

On Behalf of | Feb 14, 2023 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

Pickup trucks are very popular vehicles in North Carolina and for some truck owners, the bigger the truck the better.

Still, pickup trucks are not always safe to drive. In fact, one study reports that pick-up trucks are the type of passenger vehicle most likely to be involved in a deadly collision. This includes popular models like the Ford F-Series and the Chevrolet Silverado.

What makes pickup trucks so deadly?

The dangers of pickup trucks often come down to their design. Pickup trucks are large vehicles and are only becoming larger with each new model as demand for these vehicles grows and greater profits are realized.

Due to the height a driver of a pickup truck sits at and the vehicle’s long hood, drivers of pickup trucks cannot always see smaller objects in front of them, like pedestrians, bicyclists or even smaller passenger vehicles.

“Frontover” crashes occur when a motorist strikes someone in their front blind spot. Between 1990 and 2019, there were approximately 930 fatal frontover crashes in the United States, most of which involved children. More than 80% of these deadly frontover crashes involved a pickup truck or other large passenger vehicle.

Pick-up trucks are also heavy vehicles, often weighing 4,000 pounds or more. This gives them the upper hand in a crash with a smaller vehicle, due to the scientific nature of objects in motion.

Crashes involving pickup trucks often violently drive the other motorist’s head into the hood of their vehicle, increasing the risk of serious and potentially deadly head injuries.

The size and weight of pickup trucks also makes them more difficult to stop once in motion. When a truck crashes into a smaller vehicle, the driver of the smaller vehicle is over 1.5 times more apt to lose their life in the crash compared with crashes between passenger vehicles that do not involve pickup trucks.

Liability in car crash cases

Liability in a car crash case often comes down to the negligence of the driver at fault. However, if the designer of the vehicle that caused the crash was negligent in the design of the vehicle in a way that made the vehicle inherently unsafe, they might also be face liable.

Ultimately, liability in any car crash case can be complex, especially when there is more than one defendant as there might be in cases involving pickup trucks.