Safety tips when considering a big truck purchase

There is a trend in pickup truck design that has led to a growing problem on the roadways.

In recent years, truck makers have pushed the envelope for bigger and more aggressive models. Compared to 2000, pickups are now 24 percent heavier and the hood height is 11 inches taller – with the largest weighing in around 7,000 pounds.

These larger pickup truck designs, however, have also meant increased safety concerns such as bigger blind spots and longer braking distances. This puts truck drivers in danger of increased likelihood for accidents with pedestrians and drivers in smaller vehicles.

When shopping for a larger pickup truck, consider some key safety tips to help minimize your chances for a dangerous accident:

Brake for AEB

As pickup trucks get bigger, the ability for them to brake becomes more difficult.

Although pickup trucks now take more effort to stop, they are less likely to come equipped with automatic emergency braking (AEB) systems than other vehicles.

Invest in a model with a quality AEB system to help yourself brake in time and reduce the chances of an accident.

Pedestrian detection tech

There is a lot more truck to look around nowadays – leaving larger blind spots for pickup truck drivers.

However, blind spot warning and pedestrian detection for the new breed of large trucks do not often come standard.

Make the choice to invest in a pickup truck with the technology to help you detect potential accidents. Any vehicle with blind spot warning and pedestrian detection technology increases your awareness of others walking or driving on the road around you.

Consider full-size truck alternatives

If smaller, compact cars are not practical enough for your lifestyle, there are options for larger vehicles without compromising safety that can perform some of the desired hauling duties of a pickup:

  • Mid-sized SUVs: good for towing up to 5,000 pounds on some models or a small boat or small camper
  • Compact vans: capable of hauling good amount of cargo and are easier to drive
  • Smaller trucks: can carry bikes, small loads and mulch

Rent instead

Maybe you’re looking to purchase a larger pickup truck as a way to haul large items now and then or help friends move.

But how often are using an oversized pickup truck to haul tens of thousands of pounds of equipment? Renting can get your big job done and reduce the amount of drives in a vehicle with growing safety concerns.

Consider renting one with higher rental limits, as full-sized trucks typically command higher fees.

Talk to your agent

If you are not sure what protection is best for your truck – no matter what size it is – talk to your independent insurance agent. Be sure to ask about higher liability limits.



Consumer Reports


LC 2021-358