Full-size trucks and SUVs exist to withstand heavy loads and tough terrains, but that makes their blind spots all the more dangerous. This isn’t just a danger to the other cars and the drivers who can’t see the road around them, but also pedestrians, especially children in suburban and school areas crossing streets. However, a recently uncovered quote from one of GMC‘s designers shows an industry well aware of the dangers and isn’t keen on changing things quite yet.
How big are GMC’s trucks and SUVs?
Americans love big and rugged vehicles. As such, full-size SUVs and pickup trucks run rampant on the streets and through the highways. American trucks have bigger grilles, taller wheels, higher ride heights, and more ground clearance than those overseas. While this looks good and has some practicality, it hurts the drivers’ visibility and leaves more room for accidents.
Higher cars mean less visibility of what’s right in front of them, which leads to an increase in pedestrian deaths through motor vehicle crashes and accidents, as detailed by the IIHS. Furthermore, the aesthetic decisions made by the designers hurt peripheral vision, as well. One would think that the carmakers would do everything in their power to prevent potential road catastrophe. After all, the truck is a behemoth compared to most of the competition.
Cars are dangerous by nature. According to GMC‘s official website, the 2022 Sierra stands nearly 80″ off the ground, 82″ wide, and almost 250″ inches long. The ground clearance can also be over 10″ depending on the trim level of choice. While the vehicle does offer blind-spot detection features, the technology can fail, and many of the same problems persist as they do. However, one expects safety to remain the primary concern.
When the GMC Sierra’s designer spoke about the car, it became clear that this was not the case.
The Sierra designer spills the beans on its safety issues
The GMC Sierra full-size pickup truck and GMC Yukon full-size SUV models are among the most distinguishable, giant cars out on the road. To some degree, this works. Any vehicle that carries so much weight has to withstand it on the open road. One might think that GMC wants to keep things safe despite the design.
However, when designer Karan Moorjani opened up about his truck designs, the comments were a disturbing look at where the automobile company sacrificed safety for aesthetics. According to his interview with Muscle Cars and Trucks, it all started back in India as a kid.
“I have vivid memories… there’s no car culture in India, but there are a few affluent collectors in Bombay, and I remember seeing like an early 90s GMC Sierra… I remember thinking that this was the most powerful looking vehicle that I’ve seen,” Moorjani said.
The GMC Sierra is going to get you
Moorjani goes on to explain in the Muscle Cars and Trucks interview that this helped dictate his eventual talent as a car designer. While some might hope that cars like this are designed with safety first in mind, it seems that the aesthetic and presence of the model plays a more significant role.
“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. It’s got that pissed-off feel, but not in a boyish way, still looking mature. It just had to have that imposing look,” Moorjani said. “I would try to make it look almost exactly like the sketch… all of the exaggerated elements… there’s something really mean and violent about an all-black truck. It’s very animalistic and has a lot of expression.”
WTHR recently noted that millions of cars have dangerous blind spots. Even the smallest cars have secret blind spots right behind the back bumper. News articles constantly tell the tragic stories of the 3,000 kids killed or injured for being in a blind spot. However, until the companies who make the cars start taking this more seriously, it’s not likely to change anytime soon.