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Are Pickup Trucks More Dangerous Than Passenger Cars? 

You might be surprised to learn that pickup trucks have been around for almost as long as automobiles. However, they were initially considered working vehicles, typically owned by farmers, construction contractors, and others who needed cargo space and a powerful vehicle to haul and tow work items.

In recent years, pickup trucks have grown in popularity as family vehicles. There also seems to be a growing number of people who simply prefer to drive a pickup truck, even if they don’t need to haul anything. Some even rent pickup trucks for a weekend of work or play. As a result, trucks can now be purchased with many different trim levels. Some trims are focused on hard work, with few frills. Other trim levels contain comfort and luxury additions akin to automobiles. 

This raises the question of whether cars and pickup trucks have similar safety profiles, or whether one poses a greater danger than the other. We will explore those issues in this blog post.

The Evolution of Pickup Trucks

According to Car and Driver, Henry Ford provided us with the first factory-produced pickup truck, the 1925 Model T Roadster and coined the phrase “pickup.” These trucks were often used by farmers. 

Through the years, pickup trucks with a lot of different looks were produced by various manufacturers. During this time, some notable steps were taken in the evolutionary process. For example, Dodge produced the first four-wheel drive pickup truck in 1946. 1957 International Harvester produced the first pickup truck with a crew cab. It could seat six people. Other manufacturers later followed. In time, both compact-sized and powerful full-sized pickup trucks became ubiquitous, culminating with beautiful luxury pickups that often haul little more than air. 

How Popular Are Pickup Trucks?

The overall popularity of pickup trucks varies by state. For example, Wyoming has the highest percentage of pickup trucks, comprising 37.1% of the vehicles on the road. In contrast, New Jersey comes in last at 8.2%. The national average is 16.7%, and Oregon is just slightly above the national average of 16.9%.

Are Pickup Trucks or Passenger Cars More Dangerous?

Considering this issue, we will look at some data analyzed by House Grail. Particularly sobering is the fact that drivers, regardless of demographic, in crashes involving light pickup trucks have a 23% higher fatality rate than crashes involving automobiles in the same weight class. 

There could be multiple reasons for this result. One is that pickup truck models only sometimes qualify as top safety picks by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Additionally, pickup trucks have a much higher chance of rolling over in an accident, which can be deadly. Also, passengers in pickup trucks are apparently less likely to wear their safety belts.

Statistics also show that death rates involving crashes with heavy pickup trucks are much lower than fatality rates for light pickup trucks. Unfortunately, pickup trucks involved in a collision have a 224% greater likelihood of killing someone as compared to other vehicles.

Call with Questions

If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in an accident with a pickup truck or any other kind of vehicle, you will almost certainly have questions about your rights. The experienced automobile accident attorneys at Nelson MacNeil Rayfiled are here to answer all those questions in a free consultation.