Over the last 30 years, pickup trucks have grown increasingly larger. In fact, U.S. pickup trucks now weigh about 1,300 pounds more than they did in 1990. Some U.S. pickups now weigh in at 7,000 pounds – about the same amount as three Honda Civics.
While drivers may feel like they are literally the king of the road in these large trucks, pedestrians face increased risks with these vehicles on the road. The more weight a vehicle has, the stronger force it has in an accident. If a driver of a supersized pickup hits a pedestrian in an accident, the amount of force can kill the pedestrian or leave them with devastating injuries.
Pedestrian fatalities on the rise
In 2019, 6,590 pedestrians were killed in vehicle accidents, the highest number since 1988. Safety experts believe that one of the main reasons for that spike is that drivers are buying larger and larger SUVs and pickups.
With these supersize trucks, drivers also have larger blind spots in the front and back, making it easier for a driver not to see a pedestrian in their path. Even if a driver chooses a supersize pickup truck that has a blind spot warning, that technology may not detect a nearby pedestrian.
Taking additional safety precautions
As a result, both drivers and pedestrians need to take extra safety steps to avoid a fatal accident. Pedestrians should:
- Cross at crosswalks and intersections whenever possible.
- Try to make visual contact with approaching drivers so the drivers know they are there.
- Wear bright, reflective clothing.
- Avoid listening to loud music or walking while intoxicated.
Drivers need to:
- Always look out for pedestrians, especially in residential areas or busy city intersections.
- Avoid speeding.
- Slow down near crosswalks and stop when pedestrians are in a crosswalk.
- Don’t pass another vehicle that is stopped at a crosswalk or for crossing pedestrians.
Taking the extra time to always be aware of your surroundings and practice these safety tips matters. No one wants to be involved in a devastating accident that claims a pedestrian’s life or leaves someone with injuries it will take months to recover from.