Americans love big vehicles. You constantly see people driving around in massive SUVs and pickup trucks, even if there’s only one person in the vehicle and they’re not carrying anything or pulling a trailer. These vehicles are just “daily drivers” and they use them to go everywhere.
Vehicle preference aside, is this a safe decision? Or is this fascination with large vehicles costing lives?
Mass and energy differences are the keys
As a general rule, when two vehicles collide, the one with the larger mass will take on less energy — and give out more — which leads to more damage to the smaller vehicle. Height differences can also play a role. If everything else is the same, those in the smaller vehicle are at greater risk of serious injuries or death, so you could argue that this proliferation of oversized vehicles has made the roads more dangerous.
The good news is that automakers know this and have been working to try to correct it. A lot of it has to do with the structures in the car that are designed to absorb energy. If these are similar, it can reduce risks. But nothing will fully eliminate those risks, and those in smaller vehicles still generally face greater danger.
Have you lost a loved one or been injured?
If someone in a large vehicle or even an 18-wheeler hit your car and injured you or killed a loved one, you may be able to seek compensation for medical bills, funeral costs and much more.
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