Many lifted vehicles on the roads have been modified for aesthetic appeal, rather than for function. The practice is not only considered distasteful and unnecessary by many, it is also unsafe for the driver and other vehicles on the road. Before investing money in a modification like a raised suspension and massive tires, consider these potential dangers:
- Rollover potential. Rollovers are some of the most devastating car accidents in normal vehicles. SUVs have the highest rate of rollovers, but lifted SUVs and trucks also face a high potential for rolling over because of their large vehicle profile. A lifted vehicle has farther to fall than a normal vehicle, as well.
- Rear ending. A rear ending in a normal vehicle accident may or may not be severe. When a lifted truck or SUV rear ends another vehicle, however, the effect can be devastating. The raised bumper level would destroy some lower profiled vehicles at worst and cause significant vehicle damage at best.
- The size factor. Trucks and SUVs are already some of the larger vehicles on the road, next to tractor trailers. When lift kits are used to add 6 or 8 inches of height to these large vehicles, they become even more unsafe. Any accident with a lifted vehicle may cause significant injury to the other party. The increased size may also decrease the driver’s visibility. Height to a certain point allows drivers to see more of the roadway and avoid hazards. Too much height, however, can decrease a driver’s visibility range and increase the number of blind spots near the vehicle.
- Headlights. Headlights on lifted trucks naturally stand taller than traditional vehicle lights. That means anyone traveling in front of a lifted vehicle will be potentially blinded by the direct bright light of the vehicle. Conversely, drivers of lifted trucks may not be able to clearly see rear lights or headlights of nearby cars, increasing the chance of a vehicle accident.
- Center of gravity. With such a tall vehicle, the high center of gravity can make stopping suddenly or navigating around road hazards very difficult for a lifted truck. Even at slow speeds, the high center of gravity can work against drivers in lifted vehicles.
- Parking lot hazards. Parking lots are naturally dangerous places with cars backing up and people walking or running through the aisles without paying attention. The many blind spots of a lifted truck could make spotting a small child or elderly citizen walking behind the truck very difficult.
Some lifted trucks are used recreationally in remote areas for mud bogging or rock crawling. When they are strictly used for roadway travel, however, they can easily become a hazard to everyone on the road around them.
Tips for Driving a Lifted Vehicle
If your truck meets all the road requirements in your area, still use extreme caution when driving on the roadways. Add extra mirrors to make up for your blind spots, and always drive slowly and carefully in high traffic areas. Consider upgrading the brakes and other safety features of the vehicle to reduce the likelihood of an accident. Anyone who modifies a vehicle is responsible for understanding the laws of the area. Research what you can legally do to your vehicle, and consult a professional before making any modifications.
Tips for Driving Around Lifted Vehicles
Use the same caution around lifted vehicles you use around tractor trailers. Give them extra space on the highways, and use consistent movements when passing or changing lanes around them. Avoid driving too closely behind or traveling alongside them without passing. If you are injured in an accident with a lifted vehicle that may not be road-legal, reach out to the Dallas vehicle accident lawyers at The Benton Law Firm for a free consultation.