Although the truck accidents that make the evening news are often crashes involving tractor trailers and larger 18-wheeler trucks, pickup trucks and other smaller trucks are very popular and can cause serious accidents as well. Many people who drive pickup trucks and such smaller trucks often treat their vehicles as regular passenger vehicles, when in fact these light trucks do pose a danger. If you own a light truck, you can avoid car accidents by:
1) Using extra caution in parking areas. Pickup trucks are larger, so smaller parking spaces can easily pose a problem. It is quite easy to bump into another car or even cause a pedestrian accident when backing into a small spot. Look for parking spaces that offer extra room – spots further from the store usually are less crowded – and ease into a spot.
2) Loading carefully. Pickup trucks and other light trucks have load limits for a reason. Overloading your truck can cause tire damage and rollover accidents. When loading your truck, make sure that you tie down everything securely. If things move around the back of your truck, it can be distracting. It can also cause the weight of your vehicle to shift, posing a rollover hazard. If you need to transport something that does not quite fit into your truck, tie it down very securely and tie a flag to the end of the object to alert other drivers. You do not want something bumping into another car or flying off the back of your truck.
3) Minimizing distractions. Avoid eating, talking on the phone, loud music, coffee, and smoking in the car. These all cause you to take your eyes off the road and your hands off the wheel. Distractions are a major cause of car accidents and even though you are not driving an 18-wheeler, a light truck can still cause a lot of damage and injury.
4) Driving decisively. Do not hesitate or roam. Drive where you need to go, without driving around. Check maps before you go so that you know your route and the best roads to take to get to your destination.
5) Getting familiar with the vehicle. If you are moving up to a truck from a passenger vehicle, especially, give yourself extra time to get familiar with the new car. Drive the truck under all sorts of conditions without passengers first, so that you can adjust your driving as needed. Stick with simpler streets and less-frequented routes until you know all the controls and the vehicle well.