Truck blind spots are being put in the spotlight after it was discovered the Abrams M1 tank has better forward visibility than modern pickups.
A new controversial infographic on Twitter is making the rounds, claiming that an Abrams M1 Battle Tank has better forward visibility than the Ford F-250 Super Duty and the Chevrolet Silverado Z71.
We're taking this infographic with a pinch of salt because it's tied to a petition against the previously mentioned "murder trucks." A basic search of each truck's dimensions shows that the height between the ground and the hood is at least correct.
From there, the unknown designer drew a straight line from where the driver's eyes would be to the first spot they could visibly see on the ground. This visually demonstrates the blind spot in front of the car. Using average height figures, they then calculated at what distance the average five-year-old and three-year-old would be visible from the driver's seat.
From the Abram's center seating position, a five-year-old child becomes visible at 1.3 meters, while a three-year-old toddler is visible at 2.8 meters (one meter is roughly 3.3 feet or 40 inches). In the F-250, the child only becomes visible from 1.9 meters, and the toddler only comes into view from 3.1 meters. The F-250 is not the only truck to fail this made-up test. From behind the seat of a Z71 Silverado, you'll only see a child from 1.65 meters and a toddler from 2.95 meters.
The graphic also illustrates the forward visibility of a Peterbilt 587 Tractor. Thanks to the driver's high seating position, the blind spot is the shortest of all the vehicles at 6.25 meters. This means you can see a child from 2.55 meters and a toddler from 3.25 meters.
In a Ram Power Wagon, a child becomes visible from 2.3 meters and a toddler from 3.75 meters. In the GMC Sierra, a child can be seen from 2.5 meters and a toddler from four meters.
There are many ways you can interpret this infographic. While it may be true that you can see a child and a toddler much sooner from the tank, there's a zero percent chance that you'll be able to stop in time. Either way, trucks and SUVs have massive blind spots that hide far more of the road ahead than one may realize.
The main reason kids get run over is unsafe crossing behaviors, such as running into the road after a ball. Older gets get run over because they're distracted by a smartphone. Not to mention all the kids who get run down in their own driveways as a parent reverses into the street.
Considering these scenarios, you want the shortest possible forward blind spot, in which case Peterbilt leads the pack. The trucks all have a blind spot between 8.5 to 10.6 meters.
Thankfully, modern trucks have safety devices to stop these kinds of incidents. All 2023 Ford Super Dutys have front and rear parking sensors and front and rear brake assist. On some trucks, forward collision avoidance is only standard on top-spec models.
If nothing else, it's an interesting infographic that will spark considerable debate. To this author, it's a grey area. I can see why you should take extra precautions when behind the wheel of a truck, but to call them "murder machines" is hyperbole at its finest. We do see the argument for making automatic emergency braking mandatory, however.
Perhaps the most shocking part of this illustration is the one thing not talked about enough. You can see exactly where the truck would hit a child or toddler; in all cases, it's right in the middle of the grille.
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