Brian White | April 28, 2023 | Traffic Accidents
As one of the largest passenger vehicles on the roadways, pickup trucks are a common sight on the highways and back roads around the Houston, Texas, area.
When many people think of pickup trucks, they generally think that they are safe and very useful. Riding higher off the ground than a car and with a larger cargo-hauling capacity than an SUV, it’s easy to see why. But the aspects that make a pickup so appealing to many drivers also make it more dangerous.
Recent Statistics About Pickup Trucks
In a recent year, more than 1,300 Texans were killed in a pickup truck accident, and a further 4,400 were seriously injured. This is higher than deaths and serious injuries from any other type of vehicle crash, including motorcycles.
One in every five pickup trucks sold in the United States is sold in Texas, which means they’re more common here than in any other state. Understanding what makes them more dangerous than other vehicles and what to do after a collision can help keep you and your family safe.
What Makes Pickup Trucks So Dangerous?
Many pickup trucks, especially extended cab or extra cargo bed models, have a higher center of gravity than a car or smaller SUV.
Although they’re higher on the road than other vehicles and enable the driver to see slow traffic or road hazards before other drivers, this higher center of gravity also makes them more likely to suffer a rollover accident, especially in inclement weather or high winds.
The weight distribution in a pickup truck can also make it more hazardous. Since most of the vehicle’s weight sits over the front wheels, while the rear wheels propel the vehicle, pickups are more likely to lose traction and fishtail due to slippery road conditions.
Additionally, the cargo itself could easily pose a hazard, especially if it’s not properly secured or consists of loose materials, like construction debris, that could blow out and hit other vehicles. Some pickup drivers may overload the cargo bed, too, which makes it more dangerous, especially in a truck collision.
Pickup Truck Safety Ratings
In 2019, over half of the new models of pickup trucks were rated “marginal” or “poor” for passenger safety.
Compared to cars and SUVs, pickups generally scored lower in all aspects of driver and passenger safety, and none of the five most popular models were rated with top safety marks by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, while many of the top five ranked cars and SUVs were.
Pickup trucks simply can’t compare to other types of cars or SUVs in terms of basic safety, either. The frame and chassis of a pickup are designed to be more rigid than other cars, which, while ideal for hauling, also makes it less likely to crumple safely in a front-end collision.
Modern cars are now designed with “crumple zones,” which absorb much of the energy from a collision impact, collapsing in such a way as to protect the passengers inside. Pickup trucks don’t have this, which means that a lot of the inertia from the crash hits the passengers.
Staying Safe After a Pickup Truck Crash
If you’ve been involved in a traffic accident with a pickup truck, it’s important to seek medical attention right away. A larger vehicle has the potential to do more damage than a smaller one, so you could be hurt worse than you think.
Calling the police is another good idea, so there is an official report that contains information about the crash and even a narrative of how it happened. Finally, seeking legal advice can help protect your rights when you file a claim for damages.
Contact the Houston Truck Accident Lawyers at Attorney Brian White Personal Injury Lawyers For Help
Attorney Brian White Personal Injury Lawyers
3120 Southwest Freeway, Suite 350
Houston, TX 77098
Attorney Brian White Personal Injury Lawyers – East Fwy
11811 East Fwy, Suite 630-06
Houston, TX 77029
Attorney Brian White Personal Injury Lawyers – South Loop
2600 S Loop W, Suite 293
Houston, TX 77054