Tuesday, June 6, 2023


Heavier, taller pickup trucks pose more road danger

Pickup trucks keep getting taller and heavier. The increased size also means increased dangers.

That’s the assessment of Consumer Reports. The publication’s analysis detailed that from 2000 to 2018 (the most recent study), trucks are 11 percent taller and 24 percent heavier.

The 2021 Ford F-250 pickup trucks retains the truck maker's market dominance reputation.
The 2021 Ford F-250 pickup truck retains the manufacturer’s big truck market dominance.

As a result, big trucks have poorer front sightlines and bigger blind spots that can prevent viewing a small vehicle or a pedestrian.

Bigger pickup trucks result in more risks

“Because of their height and long hoods, some trucks have front blind spots 11 feet longer than some sedans and 7 feet longer than many popular SUVs, which increases the risk of the driver running over someone in front of them they can’t see,” said Keith Barry, Consumer Reports Auto Editor.

An analysis from the advocacy group KidsandCars.org found most fatalities in these kinds of crashes are children between 12 months and 23 months old.

According to Ford and GM representatives, trucks have increased in size because of consumer preferences. Bigger trucks require more girth and larger grilles to further assist engine cooling, particularly when the vehicles are towing trailers.

Consumer Reports believes mandatory advanced safety technology such as automatic emergency braking could help reduce increased problems. Reducing and designing safer roads for pedestrians and cyclists would also be beneficial.

The publication also reports a pickup truck’s tall front end and higher bumper are more likely to cause serious injuries upon impact than the bumper of a lower vehicle.

James Raia, a syndicated columnist in Sacramento, California, publishes a free weekly automotive podcast and electronic newsletter. Sign-ups are available on his website, www.theweeklydriver.com. He can be reached via email: james@jamesraia.com.



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Donald N Wright
1 year ago

If you read CR, Their favorite truck used to the the Toyota Tundra. Now it is the Honda pickup truck. Let’s see what the Honda can tow or haul, for how long.

Jim Prideaux
1 year ago

True. I got a 2021 Sierra 1500 and have trouble parking at the supermarket parking lot. Even when I am in the lines it seems like a tight fit. I try to park in ‘the lower 40’ but when I get out out I am over the line somewhere. Maybe with time I’ll get better.

Thomas D
1 year ago

Its so stupid this extra height. When i bought my 2011 chev i had to make major adjustments to my 5th wheel hitch. The previous truck was a 2007 chev 2500. The newer one got to be 3.5 inches taller in the bed and if I remember correctly,4 inches higher in the box.
Im not a macho man, I needed a truck to pull my fifth wheel not one to tower over cars. There is like 14 inches of space between tires and sheet metal in the tire well. Getting into the cab is becoming harder as I age. Some engineering is in order and if height ad width is an important part of your truck, see aftermarket specialists.

1 year ago
Reply to  Thomas D

One of the reasons they’re higher is when you use the truck off-road and construction work you don’t bang up the body. If you want a lower one get a 2 wheel drive truck that might be better for your use.

Bob M
1 year ago
Reply to  Thomas D

I’m not interested in the bigger trucks such as the Silverado HD and won’t buy one. Over two years ago I test drove a F150 that was to high and hard to get in and out. So I didn’t buy it. The F150 hybrid don’t seem as high as the one I test drove. Plan on buying one down the road.

1 year ago

don’t blame operator error on the truck

Tommy Molnar
1 year ago
Reply to  Don

Exactly. If you can’t handle your vehicle, maybe you made a bad choice – for you.

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