These Stupid Trucks are Literally Killing Us

These Stupid Trucks are Literally Killing Us

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Engineers, planners, politicians, and advocates all around the world are trying to improve their cities and build more great walkable places with viable alternatives to driving. But there’s a looming trend that could undo all of that hard work: the growth of SUVs and light trucks.

This could all be solved if these pathetic suburbanites could just buy small cars, station wagons, or minivans instead.


NJB Live (my bicycle livestream channel):

Script by Nicole Conlan and Jason Slaughter

References and Further Reading

Tell Automakers: Fix front-end blind zones – Consumer Reports Petition

CityNerd: Problems with Pickup Trucks (Nebula)

Thumbnail inspired by:

New Car Assessment Program

SUVs, pickup trucks more likely to hit pedestrians than cars, study finds

The Ultimate List of Driving Statistics for 2023

High and Mighty: SUVs-the World’s Most Dangerous Vehicles and How They Got That Way
Keith Bradsher [ISBN 9781586481230]

Trucks And SUVs Are Now Over 80 Percent Of New Car Sales In The U.S.

Mindgames on wheels – How advertising sold false promises of safety and superiority with SUVs

Ford Expedition Eddie Bauer 1997 (modified)

Ford Expedition Eddie Bauer 1997

Sherman tank by Nyttend – Own work, Public Domain

Global SUV sales set another record in 2021, setting back efforts to reduce emissions

Kids and Cars

Experiment involving SUV reveals hidden danger for small children

SUVs second biggest cause of emissions rise, figures reveal

U.S. Pedestrian Fatalities Rise, While European Pedestrian Fatalities Fall

Cyclist and Pedestrian Deaths Skyrocket in 2018 as Motorists Stay Safe

Why are US drivers killing so many pedestrians?

National Survey on Distracted Driving Attitudes and Behaviors

The Car Cushion Hypothesis: Bigger Cars Lead to More Risk Taking—Evidence from Behavioural Data

You Don’t Need A Full-Size Pickup Truck, You Need a Cowboy Costume

City drivers ‘should think twice’ before buying SUVs

Pickup Trucks – From Workhorse to Joyride

Transportation Alternatives – The Problem with Bigger Cars

Unlicensed Driver Is Charged in Death of Baby in Stroller

Tyre Extinguishers


European new car market starts 2021 with record market share for SUVs

Safety consequences of vehicle size & weight

This video contains content licensed from Getty Images

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27 Responses

  1. Not Just Bikes says:

    Save $20 on an annual subscription to Nebula:

    Consumer Reports petition:

    CityNerd on pickup trucks:

    Truck babies can go cry somewhere else. I don’t have time for losers.

    • Hal Gailey says:

      @Jerred Hamann ??? Every american maker that made sedans and coupes still makes sedans and coupes.

    • Hal Gailey says:

      I’d agree a minivan is better than an SUV if your passengers are children. If you are going to have anyone taller than 5’10” getting into the back of a minivan it is an absolute chore. Even captain’s chairs don’t help much and you lose a seat for that slight improvement.

    • suman reddy says:

      This is a paid video of the Space Karen as he is not able to release his Cybertruck on time.

  2. Antirrhinum Valentinum says:

    The point made about kids being hidden by the front bumpers of SUVs (9:40) … it’s not just kids. I’m a wheelchair user and going past an SUV is a TERRIFYING experience. More than once I’ve intentionally waited on the pavement before crossing in front of an SUV I think is about to pull into the road because I KNOW they can’t see me. I’ve nearly been hit in supermarket car parks twice. The first time I went past a parked SUV and realised the bumper was over my head was sobering.
    I started using my chair a bit over two years ago because of chronic illness. Before I got sick, I cycled, so I’ve always had a healthy wariness of SUVs. But the sheer sense of vulnerability that comes from being so low to the ground a driver couldn’t see me if I were RIGHT IN FRONT OF THEM… that’s a whole different beast.

    I’m in the UK btw. Bigger cars are slightly less ubiquitous here than the States, but not by much. I can’t drive for medical reasons. Thank goodness we have decent public transport – I would have absolutely no independence or autonomy if I were anywhere even slightly more car dependent.
    I’m not even anti car. I have a Blue Badge, that gives me access to disabled parking in whichever car I’m in. Cars are useful in a lot of cases. But my mum has a Renault Clio, which is wonderfully compact, and yet I can EASILY get my chair in and out of it without any assistance from the back seat. This would be challenging in a taller vehicle, and impossible in a flatbed or similar.

    Basically – SUVs are terrifying, horrifically dangerous for me, and would actively make my life harder if they were the only car available on the UK car market.

    • Ride Free says:

      oh, so it’s the kid’s (or @Antirrhinum Valentinum’s) responsibility to be seen@Hendman ? and their fault if they get run over. Great logic…

    • Jehty says:

      @Hendman I had exactly the same thought.
      I don’t know if I would install such a flag, because I would feel like a dork… But that’s just me and my insecurities 😁
      Everyone else should probably just do it.

    • Paula Barrocas says:

      ​@fulconAndRoadCone I drive a kia Picanto. I understand your feeling. People in tall cars can’t see us.

    • Max Halsall says:

      I get the feeling that in the uk and eu they get their market share from the idea they are “luxury” cars, likely in part due to filtering through in the US’s cultural exports.

    • SlurMaster9000 says:

      Maybe install one of those stupid “lift kits” on your wheelchair

  3. JM says:

    I talked to my Gen-X parents about why they didn’t like station wagons and they simply said: “they weren’t cool”. And then proceeded to try and convince me that a big-ass Escalade is safer than a Volvo v60 station wagon.

  4. Kenneth Wang says:

    My old man actually ordered a single cab pickup to do pallet loads in his local area. You won’t believe how many actual trades people asked about it when he got it delivered. Really shows how the intended audience of the pickup is getting ignored.

  5. SecondEngineer says:

    I worry that if we started giving cars both a “safety” score (how dangerous it is to the driver) and a “danger” score (how dangerous it is to other drivers), truck drivers would brag about their danger score.

  6. TrollBuster says:

    It’s hard to stomach the fact that we now have more pedestrian fatalities than we did in 1990.

  7. Mr Luxarina says:

    I remember when I first saw Back to the Future as a rural European kid, I was so confused by the car Marty got at the end. He was a 17-year-old boy living in middle-class suburbia, and close enough to school to go there on his skateboard every morning, and his parents got him this brand new shiny black pickup truck monstrosity that looked like it would be just as out of place at a farm or in the woods as it looked in that driveway. Since then I found out what product placement is, and I guess this in particular was part of that big marketing push to make these “light trucks” look cool to people who were teenagers in the mid 80s.

    • Oscar O'sullivan says:

      That jeep is small in comparison to the ones gracing seppo roads

    • DrBernon says:

      @fool0 Yes, that bumper was lower than his shoulders. That is an absolute ant compared to what they make today.

    • fool0 says:

      That truck was a 1985 Toyota pickup, maybe a T100 or similar? With a bunch of “off roading” stuff. I don’t think a truck that small/compact has been sold in the US since the 1990s! I have a rusted old Ford Ranger that I have kept repaired and running despite the cost since you can’t really get a truck that small any more either, they’re all bigger.

    • No Name says:

      Fun Fact:

      The actor who played the dad got fired because he didn’t like the trope that sucess only means having luxury stuff…

  8. Cheese Curd Connosieur says:

    A big thing you forgot to mention is that tall car headlights are at the drivers head height in small cars. I regularly get blinded in my VW Golf, on my commute, its infuriating

    • T H says:

      I agree and I have a 15 hour drive every so many months. The big vehicles ride up and start to bully aka push to get me to go faster. They will do this even if I am in the right lane. I have a hybrid, I think it triggers their ego.

    • Hal Gailey says:

      Even people in taller cars are regularly getting blinded like that. Those are people who are illegally modifying their headlights. And then not properly adjusting them when they do. Even tall vehicles are supposed to have their headlights angled downwards unless the high beams are on. But people “upgrade” their headlights and have high beams on all the time because they don’t adjust them or install horizontal terminators

    • robert cartwright says:

      Fortunately you can flip the day/night tab on the rear-view mirror. That usually fixes it for me.

    • Ethan Crisp says:

      I tinted all my windows for summer heat protection and got the added benefit of not being blinded anymore. Can’t even drive my partners car because I literally can’t see with the lights behind me

    • DrBernon says:

      @blyss The tail light blinded you?! That is crazy! I almost don’t believe you. Or at leas I want to.

  9. Madam Galen says:

    I am not immune to the appeal of an absolutely massive machine roaring down the line at impossible speeds. But like. That’s why i’m into✨trains ✨

  10. StormFractured says:

    The true irony is that full size SUV’s are more common in a city then in the rural areas.

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