American motorists have long had a love affair with large trucks and SUVs, but this fondness for big vehicles has troubling consequences for the safety of pedestrians and cyclists on the road. While many people favor large trucks and SUVs for their size, power and versatility, they pose substantial risks to anyone not riding inside of them.
Because large vehicles pose such a notable risk to those outside the vehicle, drivers of large vehicles must exercise extra caution and understand how they can harm others.
Large trucks and SUVs have significantly larger blind spots than smaller vehicles. These blind spots make it difficult for drivers to see pedestrians and cyclists, especially when they are in close proximity to the vehicle. This reduced visibility can lead to accidents as drivers may not be aware of the presence of pedestrians or cyclists near their vehicles.
Increased severity of collisions
The front-end profiles of large vehicles are much higher than those of smaller cars. When they collide with pedestrians or cyclists, the impact is much more severe and may cause serious injuries and even fatalities.
Reduced reaction time
The size and weight of large trucks and SUVs mean they require longer stopping distances. In emergency situations, drivers of these vehicles may not be able to stop quickly enough to avoid colliding with pedestrians or cyclists who suddenly appear in their path.
According to Slate, sales of large trucks and SUVs have climbed steadily over the last several decades. Cyclist deaths have climbed alongside large vehicle sales, rising 44% between 2010 and 2020. Pedestrian deaths, too, have risen and reached a 40-year high in 2021. With so many large vehicles on the road, it is important that everyone does their part to make the roads safer.