Am I the only person who sees a problem with pickup trucks?
I'm not referring to those normal-size vehicles that are factory-made and put on the market. Those trucks I can handle and I've driven a couple that are very much to my liking, despite the fact that I own a car that is half my size.
My main problem is with these trucks that are so modified and beefed up that they look like someone was injecting steroids into the gas tank instead of gasoline. When you can't even tell what kind of truck it used to be, that is a problem.
I understand the need for a truck, especially in Texas. No other state has more pick-up trucks on the road that Texas does, and no other state has more accidents involving them either. Is that just coincidence? I think not.
The reality is that a lot of these vehicles are dangers on the roadway. I've even seen some trucks with tires that are taller than some cars. Now that's just ridiculous. There's no purpose for it except to go tearing through a field that's just been muddied by rain.
Another negative aspect of these tricked-out pickups is the sense of superiority they give their drivers. Ask any man who drives a truck to drive a Ford Focus or Saturn Ion, chances are they'll just laugh right to your face.
It's empowering to drive something that's big and powerful - it's one of man's most basic joys that date back to the taming of horses for travel and farm labor. Most Texans love their trucks - it's almost a guaranteed tradition for a family to own at least one.
If you don't believe me, ask yourself how many people you know with a truck. Chances are, you know a few.
Now, I'm not saying it's not good to own a truck - not at all. What I'm saying is that a lot of these truck owners are letting their superiority blind them to the fact that their truck is becoming a tank rather than a vehicle that gets them from point A and B. The same can be said for speedsters and their NoS-injected cars, but that's another topic entirely.
The state needs to enact a law that puts tighter restrictions on modifications to commercial vehicles. Trucks are becoming menaces on the roadways due to their excessive size and statistical figures solidify that.
Consider this - there were 3,504 motor vehicle fatalities in 2005, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Of those, 1,768 were caused by trucks, both large and light. That accounts for a little over 50 percent of the motor vehicle fatalities last year.
That's a number we can all agree is too high. It remains to be seen if our government feels the same way.
Tim Olmeda is the news editor for the Nueces County Record Star. Readers may contact him via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.