Why “Lifted” Trucks Are Dangerous
There are a lot of “lifted” trucks on Delaware’s roads, but that doesn’t mean they’re safe. If you get hurt in a crash with a vehicle that’s been lifted, Silverman, McDonald & Friedman can help. Call our Delaware injury lawyers in Wilmington, Newark, or Seaford today.
Lifts are a way to raise the height of a truck. The typical height range is anywhere from ½ inch to up to six inches. There are different types of lifts that each have their own sets of advantages and disadvantages.
- Leveling lifts are generally used to lift the front of the vehicle though some leveling lifts can also raise the rear. These lifts add between ½ inch to 3 inches. They’re generally more affordable than the other types of lifts.
- Body lift kits add about three inches to the vehicle height by helping to raise the truck body from the frame of the vehicle. They do allow the truck owners to add larger wheels than those that come with the vehicle. They have less effect on the ability to drive the vehicle than suspension lifts.
- Suspension lifts can lift a truck from 2 to 6 inches. This allows for bigger tires to be added. While the most expensive, they should provide a smoother ride than when body lifts are used to add larger tires.
For vehicles that are driven regularly on streets and highways, leveling lifts are the usual choice. Body lift and suspension lifts are used more for off-road uses such as at construction sites.
Types of accidents affected by lifted vehicles
The raised height of the vehicles combined with larger tires does create several truck accident risk factors.
- Rollovers. Vehicles with lifts are more likely to rollover. Rollovers can kill or severely injury the occupants of the truck. Rollovers can also cause other drivers to suffer injuries or death if they collide with the rolled-over truck. In addition, cargo can spill when trucks roll over causing havoc on the roadways.
- Rear-end collisions. Drivers who are struck by any vehicle in their rear are likely to suffer soft tissue injuries and whiplash. When vehicles are struck by lifted vehicles, the raised height of the truck in the front of the vehicle can crush the stationary vehicle causing more serious injuries.
- Changes in visibility. When trucks are lifted, the lifts create more blind spots. Lifts can also make it harder for drivers to see other vehicles that are near the lifted vehicle.
- Decreased ability to stop. Raising the height of the vehicle through lifts changes the center of gravity of the truck which makes it harder for the lifted vehicle to stop.
The raised height of the truck also means the headlights are raised which can make it harder for vehicles in front of and around the truck to see because of the angle of the lights.
Delaware, according to Liftlaws.com, has laws that regulate the height, width, and length of vehicles. Raising the vehicle too high may violate these laws. Delaware also requires that vehicles be able to brake within safe stopping distances – “within 30 feet from a speed of 20 mph.” While there are no direct lift laws, there are related laws that regulate the height of bumpers and the frame of vehicle.
It’s important to move quickly after an accident so that pictures and videos of the accident site and the vehicles involved in the crash are taken and so that the cause of the accident is inspected. It’s also critical that injury victims seek immediate medical help. At Silverman, McDonald & Friedman, our Delaware truck accident lawyers have the experience and resources to hold all accountable parties liable for your medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering, and other damages. To schedule an appointment, call us today at 302-888-2900 or fill out our contact form. We have offices in Wilmington, Newark, and Seaford.
Attorney Jeffrey S. Friedman joined Silverman, McDonald & Friedman in 2001. He graduated from Widener University School of Law, and is admitted to practice law in Delaware and Pennsylvania, and in several Federal Circuit courts. He areas of concentration include auto accident and workers’ compensation cases. Read more about Attorney Friedman here.