Data from the National Highway Traffic Administration reveal that pickup truck occupants in Florida and around the country are far more likely to be killed in traffic accidents than car or SUV passengers. These figures suggest that pickup trucks are more dangerous than other passenger vehicles, but road safety experts think there is another explanation. They believe that pickup trucks would be almost as safe as cars or SUVs if the people who travel in them behaved more responsibly.
According to the NHTSA, accidents involving light pickup trucks have a fatality rate that is 23% higher than crashes involving other passenger vehicles. Pickup trucks are also about three time more likely to be involved in rollover accidents because of their high ground clearances. This is important because rollover crashes are the deadliest type of motor vehicle accident. Very few pickup trucks earn NHTSA’s highest safety ratings, which has also raised questions about their safety.
Reckless behavior may be to blame
Ground clearances and crash test results do not adequately explain the higher death rate for pickup truck occupants, so experts took a closer look at the data. They discovered that pickup truck drivers are far more likely to engage in risky behavior like not using seat belts and allowing unrestrained passengers to travel in the pickup bed. Pickup trucks also tend to remain on the road for longer than cars or SUVs, which means many of them lack modern safety features like traction control and automatic emergency braking systems.
Pickup trucks are large and heavy vehicles, which means the people who drive them should act responsibly at all times. If they do not, the accidents they cause could kill or severely injure innocent road users as well as their passengers. Seat belts should always be worn, and passengers should never be allowed to ride in the pickup bed.