Pick-up trucks range in weight from a low of 3700 pounds (empty) to up to 13,000 pounds depending on such things as the manufacturer, year of production and added safety features.
Additionally, their beds provide room to pile on weight that may or may not be secured. Researchers have offered that for the most part today’s pick-ups average around 5500 (or five and a half tons) pounds.
On the other hand automobiles are generally of a lighter weight (not including SUVs which will not be considered in this discussion). They weigh in somewhere around 3500 pounds and their weight continues to decline in response to EPA regulations that are requiring greater MPG among other things.
When vehicle manufacturers were challenged to increase the miles per gallon an automobile could get their best response was to decrease the weight of the car. Today’s cars have replaced many heavy metal parts with cheaper and lighter plastics.
While this has proved beneficial to increased mileage it is obvious that in a collision between a pick-up truck and an automobile the vehicle with the heavier weight will most likely sustain less damage and offer its driver and passengers more protection.
Of course, all of today’s vehicles – both cars and trucks – come equipped with increased and more sophisticated safety systems designed to offer further protection to anyone in an accident – but it is simply pure physics that the object of greater weight will inflict greater damage on an object of smaller weight and size.
Always drive defensively.
New Fuel Efficiency Standards for Trucks
Many times the federal government makes a decision that has a trickle-down effect – impacting each one of us in a variety of ways but most often our wallets. Such is the case with the recent October decision to impose greenhouse gas and fuel efficiency standards for trucks and buses.
Although you will find a link to their website at the end of this blog – and I wholly encourage you to visit it and read the entire article – let us offer some of the highlights of this legislation.
- These are the first national standards to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and improve fuel efficiency of heavy-duty trucks and buses.
- The program is expected to reduce emissions by nearly 250 million metric tons and save 500 million barrels of oil.
- New fuel efficiency standards for trucks will reduce the cost of transporting freight.
- It is estimated an operator of a semi truck could pay for the technology upgrades in under a year, and save as much as $74,000 over the truck’s useful life.
If all of the above information is factual and bears out in the years to come then one could expect that the cost associated with transporting goods around the country will, in fact, decrease and these savings will be passed on to the consumer, right?
Oh well, barring that at least we can celebrate the fact that gains are being made on the environmental front. Certainly we are all glad to know that these regulations will improve air quality and reduce green house gas emissions.
Austin Truck Crash Kills Motorcyclist
A motorcyclist was killed Saturday evening when a delivery truck made a U-turn and then turned from the middle lane of traffic, according to reports.
According to investigators, a delivery truck was traveling west on Mopac Freeway feeder road when the driver made a U-turn on Highway 2222. The driver then turned right from the middle lane which led to the fatal accident.
The motorcycle rider was behind a truck and in the far right lane when he crashed into the turning delivery truck investigators reported.
The identity of the victim has not been released and the investigation is ongoing.
Motorcyclists are at risk more so than other motorists on our Austin highways. Study after study has shown that motorcycles just or not visible enough and that issue leads to serious injuries and sometimes death. There are many things a motorcycle rider can do to help reduce the odds of a motorcycle accident. One of those is to drive with your lights on even during the daytime to help make you more visible. Another idea is to wear clothing that is “loud” however many motorcycle riders find this option unattractive.
If you ride a motorcycle in Austin you’ve got to go the extra mile to be the defensive driver. Our traffic congestion makes it even more dangerous and you’re taking your life in your hands when driving during peak hours of traffic.
When the words ‘vehicle collision’ appear it is normal to conjure up visions of cars and trucks in various stages of disrepair. You may think of side collisions, rear-end accidents or even rollovers. But for this blog let us consider some of the more unusual collisions one may never be able to prepare for.
In an Atlantic coastal state a pick-up truck was parked well off the main highway on a gravel road. The whereabouts of the truck’s owner were unavailable at the time of the accident – suffice it to say that he or she was fortunate to be elsewhere when an experimental single-engine plane fell from the sky – its wing crushing the front half of the pick-up in the process.
Fortunately the pilot suffered only minor injuries as well. Boy, are we in trouble if we have to incorporate defensive driving against airplanes into our daily lives.
Another unexpected car crash was caused by one of America’s favorite birds – the turkey – on the back country roads of a northern state. A teen and his sister were on their way to school when a turkey unexpectedly flew into their windshield – nearly shattering it.
The shock of the incident caused the young driver to lose control of his vehicle and he drove off the side of the road. There were no injuries but the reader would probably not be surprised to learn that this happened a few days before Thanksgiving. To date the score is: turkeys – 1/ Thanksgiving revelers – millions.