In the US, Could Taxing Heavy Cars Be a First Step toward Reducing Pedestrian Fatalities? | Urban Institute
The GMC Sierra 2500 HD pickup truck more closely resembles a battering ram or small tank than a commuter’s car. Weighing more than 6,000 pounds and standing more than six-and-a-half feet tall, the truck casts an imposing façade. It’s all part of its physical appeal, according to the truck’s designer.
“We spent a lot of time making sure that when you stand in front of this thing it looks like it’s going to come get you,” Karan Moorjani, the designer, told Muscle Cars and Trucks magazine. “It’s got that pissed-off feel.”
Moorjani compared the truck with the barrel of a gun for its strong body and powerful fenders, which feels apt given the inordinate danger the hulking vehicle poses to anyone outside the driver seat.
As American cars have ballooned in size over the past three decades, the menace cars like the GMC truck pose to pedestrians and cyclists has increased in lockstep. Those hit by the heaviest vehicles—cars weighing more than 4,000 pounds—are two to three times more likely to die than people hit by smaller cars, a major issue in the context of increasing US pedestrian fatalities. Big trucks also pollute more and do more damage to roads.