Choosing the right vehicle is not as simple as just picking the most visually appealing one. You are a smart consumer, so you know that you need something that is safe and reliable. Unfortunately, most people in Alabama do not have the time to evaluate every confusing statistic or rating about a vehicle. Instead, they choose the best vehicle with the best information that they have on hand. That information might not have included just how dangerous a heavy pickup truck is compared to a car.
You may not have even thought about your car's weight when you bought it. This is because a car's weight might not seem that important compared to things like air bags or other features. However, if a heavy pickup truck hits your car, you are actually at a higher risk for danger.
Are pickup trucks too heavy?
People choose to drive pickup trucks for a lot of different reasons. Some people regularly haul large or oddly-shaped objects. Others like how pickups look or handle. There is nothing wrong with either of these reasons, and there is nothing wrong with drivers who choose to drive pickups.
Pickup truck weights can vary between relatively light to heavy depending on their size. Manufacturers frequently use steel when building pickup trucks, but there are lighter alternatives, such as aluminum. Researchers from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety concluded that reducing pickup trucks' weight would make drivers in cars safer and would improve fuel economy.
Drivers and passengers are dying
In car crashes between pickup trucks and passenger vehicles, car drivers are much more likely to suffer fatal injuries than pickup drivers. Between 1989 and 2008, the rate of car driver deaths rose steadily. That rate has decreased slightly, but it is still significant when compared to death rates in other types of accidents. Between 2013 and 2016, pickup trucks were two and half times more likely to get into a fatal accident than other types of vehicles.
Weight is not the only dangerous problem with pickup trucks. The way that manufacturers design the front end of pickups decreases how effective energy-absorbing structures in cars are. In fact, even lightweight pickup trucks cause more fatal accidents than cars and SUVs that have similar weights.
Getting the help you need
Vehicle manufacturers are responsible for dangerous pickup designs. Even though pickup drivers in Alabama do not have any say in the manufacturing of their vehicles, they are still responsible for their actions while behind the wheel. This means that they can -- and should -- be held accountable if they cause an accident and injure other drivers and passengers.
You may feel lucky to be alive after a serious collision with a heavy pickup truck. However, your luck might run out when it comes to facing the reality of recovering from a severe injury and facing issues like medical bills, emotional trauma, lost wages and pain and suffering. If dealing with these issues on your own feels like too much, know that you are not alone. Pursuing a personal injury lawsuit alongside an experienced attorney can help you realize that you have support through every step of this process.