If you’ve seen a pickup truck commercial on TV lately, you know they’re getting bigger. Even the names (like “Super Duty”) are intended to reflect how large and powerful they are. While they’re often advertised as tackling rough, unpaved rural roads, it’s not uncommon to see them on neighborhood streets and in shopping center parking lots.
As these vehicles have gotten bigger and heavier, they’ve also become more dangerous to anyone else on the road with them. Even SUVs can seem small in comparison.
How big is the blind spot?
One particular danger of the newer-model heavy-duty pickup trucks is just how long and high their hoods are. That can leave the driver with a blind spot in front of them that can be 11 feet longer than that of the typical car.
This blind spot makes it impossible to see children, other smaller pedestrians and those in wheelchairs who may be crossing the road in front of the truck. This has caused fatal collisions – including “frontover” collisions where pedestrians are literally run over by a pickup truck driver who didn’t see them.
Don’t assume a pickup truck has AEB
While most pickup truck manufacturers make automatic emergency braking (AEB) standard on their vehicles, it won’t be mandatory for American manufacturers until model year 2025. Note that Japan and the European Union already require it. AEB is designed to stop a vehicle when it detects something ahead in the road.
All of this is a good reason for people to take extra care around these massive vehicles. If you or a loved one has already been injured or worse, it’s critical that you get the compensation to which you’re entitled for medical bills and other expenses and damages. Legal guidance can help.