Smaller trucks, known as pickup trucks, are considered to be passenger vehicles and drivers only need a regular PA Driver’s license to drive them. Just because the law considers pickup trucks to be subject to the same requirements as any other passenger car on the road, pickup trucks are not the same as cars. A “half-ton” pickup truck does not mean that the truck weighs one half ton or 1000 pounds; it means that the truck can carry up to 1000 pounds of cargo and passengers. The truck may actually weigh up to 11,000 pounds. An average sedan weighs about 3,000 pounds.
Another significant difference between a passenger vehicle and a pickup truck is the height. Trucks sit significantly higher off the ground than cars; this means that the bumper of a pickup truck is not going to meet the bumper of your car in a collision. The purpose of the bumper is to absorb the force of the impact during an accident. If the bumpers don’t meet, they can’t do their job and it is the smaller vehicle that will sustain the most damage, not the pickup truck. Typically, in a collision between a pickup truck and a passenger vehicle, the pickup truck’s bumper collides with the car’s hood or side panel. During a Philadelphia accident, metal and glass crush the passenger space in the vehicle and very serious injury often results. If you are involved in this kind of accident, it is important to get in touch with a Pennsylvania pickup truck accident attorney.
Additionally, accidents often occur between pickup trucks and passenger vehicles due to the truck’s engineering. Pickup trucks have a higher center of gravity than cars do and this makes the vehicle more difficult to drive. Driver error or simply an inexperienced/unqualified driver is often the cause of a pickup truck accident. The design of a truck makes it difficult to navigate at high speeds and even more so if there is a load of cargo in the bed of the truck. Drivers who are distracted or unfamiliar with “handling” a pickup truck, often are the cause of accidents resulting in injury or death. Careless and irresponsible pickup truck drivers are very dangerous to passengers in smaller vehicles that share the roads and highways with them.
For more information on applicable PA personal injury laws and other legal matters relating to Pennsylvania trucking accidents, please refer to PA Law Blogs, a valuable resource run by experienced Philadelphia accident attorneys.