Q: Is the danger of pickup trucks entirely a matter of how they are made or how drivers tend to operate them?
The danger of pickup trucks can be considered in three parts: the greater likelihood of pickup trucks being in accidents, the way in which their features are not conducive to the safety of drivers and passengers, and the reluctance of many pickup drivers to use safety belts. Due to pickup trucks’ size and maneuverability, they are more likely to come into collision with other vehicles on the road. This can be compensated for by careful driving, but their added risk remains. Once in an accident, the resilience of pickup trucks’ bodies and frames as well as their superior size sometimes makes their sensor-based safety features such as airbags fail to respond quickly. Finally, in one study, pickup truck drivers were found to be 12 to 15% less likely to use safety belts than drivers of other vehicles, a leading factor in the higher rate of fatalities among pickup truck drivers.