The convenience of driving a pickup truck is hard to pass up. You can fit just about anything in the back, and you’ll almost always be able to see above the car in front of you. Plus—whether you like it or not—your friends will always invite you over to help them move.
But the benefits also come with some risks. Pickup trucks are among the most likely vehicles to roll over while driving. You should know why—and what you should do to keep your tires on the road.
The way trucks are designed makes them more dangerous
The main reason that trucks roll over more is that they are so tall and heavy. The center of gravity is much lower in shorter vehicles—so flipping them takes a lot more work. With your truck’s larger tires, higher roof and the potential added weight of a load in the back, the chance of rolling over is significantly higher.
The design of your truck makes it riskier—but there are some things you could do to help prevent it from flipping it over.
You can prevent rollovers by driving carefully
You can reduce the chance of a rollover, or make it less likely to hurt you, with safe driving practices. Make sure to:
- Look for up-to-date safety features when purchasing a truck—especially airbags
- Always wear your seat belt—about half of rollover deaths involve being ejected from the vehicle
- Make sure your tires are properly inflated and aren’t too worn
- Don’t overload your truck—especially on the roof
- Follow the speed limit—about 40% of rollover deaths occur while speeding
- Be extra careful on back roads—especially if they don’t have barriers to stop your rolling truck
You can’t eliminate the chance of rolling over entirely—but you may lower it by avoiding the conditions that cause the most rollovers. Even if you do roll over, a safer truck can reduce your chance of injury.
You don’t want to get rid of your pickup truck just because it has a higher chance of rolling over. It is very convenient—and you might even need it for your work. Instead, you should keep your truck well-maintained and not exceed the limits of your vehicle.