The Triangle's most popular vehicles
Four of the Triangle's best-selling vehicles are pickup trucks — yet pedestrian and road safety advocates say today's massive trucks are a hazard, given their size, weight, and driver blind spots.
- In a new Visuals special project, Axios looked back over the past 50 years to examine the societal and lifestyle changes behind pickups' ever-increasing size.
Driving the news: In the 1980s, about half of pickup trucks were categorized as small or midsize.
- But by the 2010s, small pickups had nearly vanished as Americans increasingly bought into the big truck lifestyle.
As pickups transitioned from workhorses to lifestyle vehicles, their design shifted accordingly: Cabs expanded to accommodate more passengers, while beds shrank.
One result of supersized trucks: greater risks to pedestrians and other drivers.
- Drivers of today’s trucks sit much higher, creating a blind spot where small children or wheelchair users are hidden from view.
- Moreover, pickups' weight increased by 32% between 1990 and 2021, meaning they strike pedestrians with more force.
- Plus, the tall front of a truck strikes pedestrians in the torso or head — home to vital organs — whereas the lower hoods of cars typically strike pedestrians in the legs.
More Raleigh stories
No stories could be found
Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Raleigh.