Published on May 25th, 2020 | by Subhash Nair


Reminder: Pick Up Trucks Are Not as Tough as you Think

A lot of marketing around pick-up trucks has shifted over the years to emphasise toughness as part of safety. The truth is, “toughness” in the context of pick-up trucks relates mostly towards their ladder chassis durability and load capacity. A look back at early pick-up trucks show that they truly were utilitarian in nature. All that was required was something that could take tough road conditions and a lot of haul.

But today, lo-riding pickup trucks and utes have disappeared from most markets. Instead, hi-riding pick-ups with 4X4 or 4X2 setups are marketed to those who might be in the market for a passenger car. Yes, they are better in crashes than their predecessors, but they’re nowhere near as tough as you might think.

Just last year, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) chief research officer, David Zuby said “Clearly as a class, they’re not offering state-of-the-art occupant protection” with regards to passenger safety. He mentioned certain larger pick-up trucks were a little safer than others, but added: “as a group, however, the pickup class still has a lot of work to do.” Their report indicated that pick-up trucks really had to improve on side impact protection.

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The research the IIHS conducted indicated that pick-up trucks with two-rows of seats “struggled to maintain their structure” when the were impacted from certain angles. Passengers were at greater risk of injury of death than drivers as well.

So when we see photos like these, we wonder if the driver had to be going fast at all for such catastrophic damage to occur.

We tried tracing down the source of the photo and were led to a couple of dead ends on Facebook groups. It’s likely the image originated on Whatsapp and no details were covered by the press or shared by the police.

Whatever happened here, be extra careful when driving your pick-up truck. These things are not made for high speeds, and there’s a lot of torque that might tempt you into pushing harder than it advisable. You also have to be aware of certain hazards that may not be quite as dangerous to other vehicles.

About the Author

Written work on @subhashtag on instagram. Autophiles Malaysia on Youtube.

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