Lift kits are a popular choice for truck and SUV owners in Conroe and throughout the state of Texas. Lifting the body or suspension of a truck can allow for larger tires and additional utility in a variety of off-road situations. While lift kits can certainly increase utility, function, and style for many truck owners, there are a few safety issues to consider first. From a higher center of gravity to reduced visibility in close quarters, a lifted truck or SUV certainly comes with additional roadway safety challenges.
Unfortunately, many lift kits and the companies that sell and install them fail to educate consumers about the changes in their vehicle’s handling that can impact safety behind the wheel. If your truck is lifted, or if you’re getting ready to have a lift kit installed, make sure you’re aware of all the potential safety and handling implications that are associated with the additional height and hardware.
Lifted Trucks Have a Higher Center of Gravity
The number-one difference between a stock truck and a lifted truck is the center of gravity. A truck with a lift kit has a higher center of gravity than a stock truck from the factory. A lifted truck with a higher center of gravity is not going to handle the way a stock truck with a lower center of gravity is. Forget tight turns and swift maneuvering on a lifted truck.
The additional height means your truck is more likely to flip and roll over in the event of a roadway emergency that involves tight handling. Not only is the center of gravity higher on a lifted truck or SUV, but you also have a much higher profile. The rollover potential is greater, and you’re more likely to have serious damage or potentially catastrophic results when the vehicle does rollover.
Reduced Driver Visibility
At first, you might feel like you can see for miles in a lifted truck. Your sightline above the traffic is much higher, and it’s easy to get comfortable with the additional height and increased roadway distance visibility, but it’s important to note that visibility can be greatly reduced in closed quarters. You will have larger blind spots, especially where smaller cars, motorcycles, bicycles, and pedestrians are concerned.
Drivers in lifted trucks need to be especially vigilant for anybody entering or exiting their blind spots. It’s not as easy to see vehicles around your lifted truck, especially if they’re smaller passenger occupant vehicles or bikes.
Decreased Steering and Braking Ability
Additionally, lift kits can also lead to decreased steering and braking ability and function. Steering geometry can be impacted by a higher center of gravity and larger tires. Depending upon the type of lift your truck has, you could be facing a varying degree of decreased steering ability.
Braking ability can also be decreased with additional height and hardware. Don’t expect your vehicle to brake as quickly as it did before you got the lift. Allow for additional room between your truck and the vehicle in front of you. In the event of an emergency, or even in everyday traffic, you’ll need a little extra room to stop.
Parking Lot Safety
Parking lot safety is an important part of owning a lifted truck. A great way to remedy this situation is to add backup cameras if your truck doesn’t already have them. Owning a lifted truck or SUV can be rewarding, but it often takes a little extra care and concern.
The most important part of parking lot safety for any vehicle, lifted or not, is being aware of your surroundings. Check the areas around and behind your vehicle before putting it in reverse, even if that means you need to temporarily turn the truck off, hop down out of the driver’s seat and do a quick check for any children or pedestrians in the area. It could save a life.
Increased Risk for Injury and Damage in a Truck Accident
A lifted truck or SUV can add style, utility, and performance in a variety of situations, on and off-road, and if you’re shopping for lift kits or if you’ve already committed to the work and extra expense it takes to put in a lift kit, you know that going the extra mile for safety and performance is just part of the deal. Just knowing the challenges associated with a lifted vehicle can help you increase safety in and around your truck. Contact your truck accident lawyer in Conroe, TX, Scott Law Firm, at (936) 243-4299 for a free case consultation today.