Take a look at the back of any of today’s pickup trucks. Notice the exhaust pipe, under the vehicle? It points to the right. The same side of the road that pedestrians and cyclists use.*
Notice the bike lane in the photo – that’s where cyclists will be when this truck passes by them. No place to move to avoid the fumes.
Yet I have seen vintage trucks with that design, as in the photo to the right (even here in town). Several, in fact in just the past week. I don’t know the date of the change from rear to side exhaust, but it seems to be at least two decades old. I also know there are aftermarket kits that will return your exhaust to the rear on pickup trucks.
By design, modern pickup trucks are meant to spew their exhaust directly at pedestrians and cyclists they pass, unlike most cars, vans and even SUVs which exhaust to the rear. And a very few that exhaust to the left.
It’s got to be a deliberate, anti-social design by manufacturers. Designers surely think of these things. They’re not stupid, even if they are misanthropic towards pedestrians and anyone on a bicycle. They planned it. They know where people walk or cycle.
Why, one has to ask, are governments permitting what is clearly a hazard – even a threat – to pedestrians in truck design to continue? Continue reading