Pickup trucks are amazing; they’re versatile/multi-purpose, durable, powerful, and has a lot of space while still looking stylish. However, if it’s your first time owning or driving a pickup truck, and you’re used to driving smaller vehicles, a pickup can be a bit intimidating. Despite being more durable (capacity to handle impacts and collision much better than most smaller vehicles), you’re still likely to get into an accident without the proper precautions. That said, let’s take a look at different tips to ensure and improve safety when driving a pickup truck:
Practice Makes Perfect
It may sound ridiculous, especially if you’ve already driven vehicles for years or even decades, but there’s no shame in practice driving your pickup truck. If you’ve only had experience driving smaller vehicles before, it’s best to “get the feel” of a pickup truck by driving it in empty roads and wide vacant spaces. Spend some time driving it around in safe spaces. Eventually, you’ll be more comfortable at maneuvering it and driving it at higher speeds later on. You’d also be made aware of its width, the space it occupies (which is essential in parking) and even potential blind spots (that you can fix later on with cameras, installing blind spot mirrors, or simply adjusting your side-view and rear-view mirrors).
A Different Perspective
Trucks are longer and higher than the usual cars you may be used to driving, which makes parking, turning, and detecting obstacles around the vehicle a bit more challenging. As mentioned earlier, this can be solved through practice and a few add-ons and adjustments to your pickup truck.
Passengers Not Allowed (At the Back)
In many states, sitting on the truck bed or anywhere at the back is illegal — and for a good reason: it’s unsafe. There’s a reason why vehicle seats have airbags and seatbelts, two things that are absent at the back of your pickup truck. In case of bumps and collisions, the passengers at the back aren’t protected, and this may lead to injuries or worse. So, the only time people should be allowed to sit at the back is when the engine’s off. You also have to consider that the ones at the back are exposed to the elements (rain, wind, snow, harmful and cancerous UV light from the sun, and extreme heat).
Strap Down Your Tools and Items at the Back
One of the best advantages of a pickup truck is having a wide and open space for one to store tools, equipment, and other items, which is why many businesses own pickup trucks in order to transport and deliver goods. However, you shouldn’t depend on gravity and the weight of your tools and items to keep the items in place during transit. It’s best to tie down your tools or install racks (e.g., for bikes) in order to safely transport these items and avoid damaging or losing them during the trip. After unexpected bumps or stops, items can come flying out of the truck bed and into the road (or even into your truck) which can potentially hurt you and other drivers — it may sound like a freak accident, but it happens more than you think.
Light Up the Way (and the Truck)
You’ve probably seen other trucks on the road with extra light fixtures, such as LED light bars on them. Sure, they look cool, but they’re actually a practical safety feature. LED light bars for trucks can help improve the vehicle’s visibility at night and during bad weather, and also allows you to illuminate the road and see obstacles more clearly even when it’s dark or raining hard.
Pickup trucks, or any vehicle for that matter, can only be safe if you take the extra steps to do so. That said, make sure you follow these pickup truck safety tips for a smooth and worry-free drive in your new pickup truck.