Trucks dominated 2022 registrations in San Antonio
Six of San Antonio's 10 bestselling vehicles are trucks — yet pedestrian and road safety advocates say today's massive trucks are a hazard, given their size, weight and driver blind spots.
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, per a new Axios Visuals special project.
- 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.
By the numbers: The first generation of F-150s were 36% cab and 64% bed by length.
- By 2021, the ratio flipped, as trucks were being used more for carrying people than lumber, brush or bags of concrete.
What they're saying: "Today, personality and imagery are playing an even more important role in how consumers choose which truck is right for them," Strategic Vision researcher Alexander Edwards tells Axios.
- 40% of F-150 owners describe their vehicle as "powerful," compared with 15% for other car owners, per the firm.
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