Teen Drivers and Pickups: The Bigger, the Better? Not Necessarily

Teen Drivers and Pickups: The Bigger, the Better? Not Necessarily
By Robby DeGraff

As teenagers get their driver’s licenses and hit the road, parents usually decide what their children drive, and most feel comfortable with a vehicle that’s as safe as can possibly be. Between a Mazda Miata and a Ford F-150 for a child’s first ride, a typical parent would choose the pickup because it’s large, tough and strong.

Letting your teen drive around in a soft-top, lightweight, zippy convertible may not be the best idea, but a pickup may not be the better choice, either, according to a recent study conducted by the University of Texas and published in the traffic safety journal Accident Analysis and Prevention.

The study examined several factors involved in auto accidents, including the severity of the injuries, the time of day, the number of passengers in the vehicle and the type of vehicle. A common misconception is that the bigger and tougher the car is, the safer its occupants will be. However, the risk of injury among 16- and 17-year-olds driving pickup trucks skyrockets to “100 percent more likely” compared with driving a car, the study says. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration also found that teenagers driving and riding in pickup trucks face a higher risk of being involved in a fatal crash.

Why? “Most of these pickup trucks, they have a very powerful engine, and a powerful engine capability appears to lead to aggressive driving behavior when the pickup is in the hands of a teenager,” said Chandra Bhat, a professor of engineering and transportation at the University of Texas. Pickup trucks, especially older models, also may not be equipped with the safety features found in a sedan, Bhat said.

So that old 7.3-liter diesel V-8 may sound cool and help when towing (if ever towing) whatever a 16-year-old driver needs to tow, but a car with a smaller, less powerful engine could not only be safer, but a more economical choice for a high-schooler.

[Source: Houston Chronicle]

Comments

But what teen wants to drive a Mazda 3 or Toyota Camry when they can get a big bad F350/3500 that mommy and daddy can buy and say in a magazine, ' oh by the way, I'm only 17. '

A long article without one single bit of data. The average pickup with a V8 is much slower than the average car.

Haha this is a good one. All the "redneck" teens around here drive trucks and the new fad is diesel. The new thing is to have an older diesel truck and throw stacks on it. The cops have been catching on as well and giving tickets for "excessive smoke" lol. I wouldn't say they are using the bigger engines for such things as racing...but believe me when there is a local truck pull they are all lined up pulling. The girls love a man with a big truck, so that is an added bonus.

when I was in high school I had an 89 mazda b2200
I live thiry minutes outside of San Antonio
EVERYONE else had either a new bmw lexus etc or a huge lifted truck
everyday I parked between a single cab dodge dually that was driven by a 4'10 sophomore girl and a crew cab lariat with a 10 inch lift driven by a douche
needless to say leaving school was hell
i dont see why parents give their kids these huge vehicles or brand new ones I bought my truck for 600 bucks and made it run and look nice
I bought my monte for 1000

what ever happened to kids working for their first car? like i did?

Trucks do not have the same roll over protection as a car (cab caves in more easily).

A 4x4 has a higher CG and higher roll over rate.

Offroading - put an immature testosterone pumped male behind the wheel and it's a recipe for disaster.

Pickups have front end biased weight distribution. Easier to lose the backend with an unskilled driver.

Seatbelt use?

Riding in the back?

Alcohol consumption?

It would be nice to have more data to go with this story.

I completely agree with Lou. Pickups don't handle nearly as well as a car, generally they are fine, but they can catch you off guard, and there is no weight in the back when you need it, it won't stop as quickly, and it will do more damage to someone else. Also people in pickups (other than people who need them), tend to like showing off. Go on a snowy/icy freeway, and it's always the pickups that come off the road. Why? Not because they should, it's because people think they won't, and drive accordingly.

@ Alex - good point about winter driving. I find that 4x4 vehicles, whether they are trucks, SUV's, or cars - are driven faster and more aggressively in winter.
People have a false sense of safety and drive faster.
I've always prefered to drive with winter tires and leave my truck in 2x4, and use 4x4 only when I absolutely need it. I like the feedback from 2x4 - keeps me much more cautious.

This article is a bunch of crap, they're just trying to get people to drive smaller vehicles. You are safer in a truck than a little car, you just have to not be an idiot and abuse that safety when you drive it or else you will hurt yourself. Bottom line is that its the stupid teenagers faults, not the vehicles they drive.

greg has a point

for the most part its usually an idiots fault for his truck wrecking

but for the most part every teenage driver is an idiot

Make the teens pay for the maintenance, then we'll see how bad they want those trucks.

Coming from a teenager who's gone from a sedan to a pick-up (2010 model). All my friends (16-20) mostly drive pick up trucks or some type of off-road vehicle

And before i start let me state that if we EVERYONE only bought vehicles that we NEEDED or where a more "more economical choice", then the entire continental United States would be driving 6 gear bicycles and electric scooters...

with that said...

1. I've got to be honest, we do drive a bit more aggressively when we're in our trucks.

2. We don't necessarily feel the need to "fast" all the time as our buddies in the comparable street cars.

3. Come winter and the snow fall, we are most likely the first (and only) ones out driving.

4. We're young, not stupid! We understand the laws of physics (its mandatory learning in class ;) ) We may do a few Burn outs here and there but we're not making turns at aggressively high speeds or manuvers that are life threating. All our play is either in the woods or an open field.

*Some advise to parents - Take your kids out to a wide open parking lot and let them feel what its like to loose control of a car!

I know this seems crazy but most times when i hear of a peer getting in a accident its the one who's always claiming how flawless their driving is, and they keep pushing the limits of themselves and their vehicle because they don't understand, or are not prepared when the car does loss handling

So the key to get teenagers to stop thinking that THEY ARE INVINCIBLE is to show them how uncontrollable vehicles really are!

If they knew how serious it is when you can't control a car when it spins out, do you think they would do it again?


...Thats all i have to say, sorry for the speech

Looked up the crash ratings for a new Toyota Camry. 3 stars front and 3 stars side.

How about the mazda3 that CR recommends for teens? 4 star rear side ratings.

A new F-150 has 5 stars front and side. the 4 star rollover matches the rollover ratings for the mazda CR recommends for teens.

Another car CR recommends for teens is a Honda Accord. It has 5 star rollover but 3 star side rear.

Hyundai Elantra which CR recommends as the safest small sedan has only 4 star side driver, 4 star rear passenger. rollover rating is 4 star.

Maybe they'll be safer driving a mini van? Toyota Sienna is 3 stars and 2 star front passenger female. Oops! Rollover is 4.

I disagree that it is always 4x4 trucks off the road in the snow. By me it is cars almost always or 4x2 trucks.

Bottom line. The safest car/truck is the one driven by a safe teen.

If parents want safety and a "tank" why not buy all the kiddies 1965 Chrysler Imperials? Oh yea,the kids dont think they are "cool",dont make enough noise,and dont impress their buds like the 5.3 GM pickup doing smoke shows in the school parking lot.People dont buy things using common sense,its all about knee jerk reactions to a particular problem and not having all the facts first.SUV and pickup sales would tank if buyers used their heads and did some research first.But we all know,us Americans believe our own inner feelings and refuse to believe anything else.

The article picture reminded me of this.

http://s818.photobucket.com/albums/zz102/JimSmith1955/

I think that the safest vehicle a teen could drive would be a ford f250 or f350, dodge ram 2500 or 3500, or silverado/sierra 2500. Each one should have a diesel engine because the frames are built stronger. Also i would feel a lot more comfortable with my self in a truck than a little camry or accord. And to any one who brings up the crash ratings, in a real world senario who is going to live, a Ford f250 or a toyota camry? the camry might have a 5 star crash but is that crash from a 10,000 pound truck???? i think not so any ways you will be safer in a truck, especially if it has a big a$$ brush guard on the front :)

btw im 16 and im going to get a truck!

"And to any one who brings up the crash ratings, in a real world senario who is going to live, a Ford f250 or a toyota camry? the camry might have a 5 star crash but is that crash from a 10,000 pound truck???? i think not so any ways you will be safer in a truck, especially if it has a big a$$ brush guard on the front :)"

I brought up the crash ratings. Camry has only 3 stars.

People have such out-of-date views on what constitutes a safe vehicle. Chrysler Imperials, trucks, SUVs... If it's purely about safety, get a Volvo or Mercedes.

Old school cars are way tougher and way safer than any of this new crap, right?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1_ptUrQOMPs 1959 vs 2009 Chevy

"btw im 16 and im going to get a truck!"

Oh great!

It is a common assumption that the bigger the vehicle the safer it is.
Multiple studies have shown that is not the case.

As Jay Murch said "
4. We're young, not stupid! We understand the laws of physics (its mandatory learning in class ;) )

I have to add a few comments:

1. young people: boys more so than girls - think they are immortal.
2. Most people do not understand the laws of physics as it applies to vehicles.
The bigger it is the harder it is to stop. or turn. Once you start getting out of control the harder it is to gain control.
(Do I need to outline the 3 laws of Motion we are talking about?)
3. Testosterone clouds the mind. It is what makes us men more aggressive.
Not a good combination in a big vehicle.
4. Young men(boys) easily confuse risk taking, aggressive driving, "stunting" and getting away with it with skill and experience.
Dumb assed luck is what it is. Skill and experience - there isn't any in a young driver.
5. Statistics show 33% of the adult population (regardless of age) should not have a drivers licence.
Roughly 60% are just average.
Only 3-5 % are good to excellent.

If you ask a driver, any driver to rate their skills: the vast majority(close to 100%) would rate their skills as good to excellent.

That is the real scary part!

Trucks were the 1st thing I learned to drive. A 2002 F-250 was the 1st vehicle I owned. I love it and will continue to drive them. If my son/ daughter wants one when it gets that time I will get it if I can.

I look at it like this. 1. as long as kids or parents of these kids are buying these vehicles, they are at least stimulating the economy instead of obama. 2. parents let this happen with big truck, fast cars, or new cars. we were all kids at one time and if we can get an inch we will try for a mile. we need parents to parent not try and relive their child hood thru their kid. 3. ultimately - if you are not paying for that new car, big truck or their gas bill, who gives a rats a-- what they drive and live within your means.

I guess if you have an accident in a Miata you will come out of the car using a tablespoon.
Then a glass jar will do the rest.

So, if trucks are that much safer, why not EVERYBODY just buy a truck? I am curious, what would happen if everyone drove 1 ton trucks and they hit head on? Yep, ask anyone that promotes safety and they will always compare the 10K pound F350 to a camry, never to a truck of equal (or similar) size.

i really didnt have an opinion about this dispute until i seen some of the comments above about " all teens are idiots", " let them pay for the maintenance and see if they want a truck." I am 16 years old, i pay for anything that has to do with caring for my truck dont get on here and say stuff about people and think your not gonna get a comment back.

Jon, you know that old saying "we were 16 once too..." well it's true. There will come a time when you realize that when you were 16, you were just as much of an idiot as the rest of us were. All teens are idiots, especially behind the wheel.

Lou,

Studies have shown bigger is safer !!!

Must read the small print at the bottom of those so-called myths..

Even the NHTSA said so..bigger is safer !!

You are wrong many bigger vehicles stop and turn better than a small compact car !!

A Dodge Ram SRT can stop from 60 mph in 122 feet !!!

A new Honda Civic takes nearly 140 feet to stop from 60 !! My Moms Durango stops better than that !!!

..as for turning radius I remember a small 02 Toyota that had such a bad turning radius it was ridiculous..(m-x girls) to do a u-turn it was a 3 point turn,my Ram easily does it in one sharp turn !!!

Also,you say so-called stunting doesnt improve your skill..I would argue about that one....

When it snows would you rather have a scared inexperienced driver who never drove on the snow/ice just go on the public road with no experience..or have a teen who so-called stunted ,in a empty parking lot to know how the car skids,slides and know how to stop,steer on ice and snow...Glad my dad took me to an empty lot doing donuts,powerslides exc..in the summer when it was raining...then when winter hit I had a better idea...When it came time to hit the public roads...I knew my car how it would stop,slide take off ect..on ice snow...many people are scarred/nervous and drive poorly,not I..20some odd years and 0 wrecks...over 2 million miles driven !!! Bigger is better !!! Funny around here in the last few months a few young people under 24 died in car wrecks...all had small cars !!! Single car crashes !! There was 2 in trucks and they walked away,one was doing more than 90 mph !! As per skid marks,the Nissan Altima driver dies doing 55 in a 30 zone !! The truck 90 in a 40 zone lived !! BIGGER IS SAFER NHTSA SAYS SO !!


I am 20 and ever since the day I got my license have only had pickups (granted my first 2 were a Ranger and Dakota) but I drove an f150 w a trailer for work every weekend young people new to driving just need to be smacked around and drilled my parents always did that and I only drive like a nut off road or at a legit drag strip and have only had one fender bender in a lot when I was 17

This is pretty simple and the study backs up what should be obvious to ANYONE not in High School driving a truck.

Fact on a percentage basis Teenage drivers have the one of the highest accident rates of any age group.

Fact most trucks have a higher center of gravity therefore they are more prone to rollovers then cars.

Fact Large trucks use the rears wheels as drive wheels and when not in 4 wheel drive (most of time) have very little weight over them and are more likely to lose control on wet or slick road surfaces

Fact most accidents are SINGLE vehicle accidents so please stop with the car versus truck debate. Granted multi-vehicle accidents are many times more horrific (Specifically head on) due to the increased speed multipliers but, MOST accidents are vehicle versus wall, tree, cliff, guard rail etc. and 35 MPH or more into anything stationary means your body will travel at that speed into the dash or windshield regardless of what you are driving or how big it is.

Additionally US Federal Truck safety regulations do not have the same standards as passenger cars. Passenger cars have increasingly higher & higher safety standards while the safety regulations for many light trucks hasn't changed since the late 80's. (didn't you ever wonder why a Ranger hasn't changed much since the 1980's)

Add this all up and and it should make perfect sense why this study is indeed dead on. (pun not intended)

If you are a teenager in a a truck then please be careful out there I'm sure your parents love you and please don't talk to them about you buying a motorcycle because it's easier to avoid accidents on a bike.

I don't want to have to spell that one out for you as bike accident rates among teenagers make trucks look really safe.

I'm 22 and planning on getting my 3rd truck next summer. A 2011 F-150. But my first truck was a 1990 Ford F-150, And I loved it. Sure it was big and heavy compared to most sedans. But I knew how to drive it. (I never had a wreck in it, not even a fender bender). I do however see the logic here though. At the time I was in highschool I knew several kids who got brand new 1/2 ton trucks for their FIRST truck. They abused them and drove them like they were sports cars. I personally had to buy and pay for my first truck, and in turn that made me much more responsible with it. My parents didn't buy it, they didn't pay the insurance, and they didn't buy the gas. I did. So I had alot more respect for it.

I personally think its a judgment call on the parents behalf. If they know there kid is immature and will drive a truck recklessly and endanger the lives of other people on the road with it. Then don't buy it for them! And if your kid is trying to buy his/her own vehicle that in itself takes alot more responsibility than to just have it handed to you free of charge.

But really I don't think it matters much. The kids who text and drive and drag race and drive 90mph threw congested traffic are pretty much just as dangerous in a full size pickup as they are in a Volkswagen Beetle.

Unless they are on the farm or in the military, I see no reason a teenager should be behind the wheel of anything larger than a Tacoma/Colorado/Ranger.

Interesting how the "kids" that commented on this story all claim they are good drivers. JayMurch Driving aggresive on the street in any vehicle is not safe or good driving. Doing it in a truck is even worse. Doing a few burn outs would fall under the same category. PICKUPS/CARS You have no idea and your attitude is what makes young drivers so damn dangerous. Bigger is better, people don't buy Ram srt10s because they are safer than Civics. You prove the point again with your u turn arguement. A u-turn isn't legal unless its at an intersection last time I checked. A Ram mega cab dually can make a safe u turn at an intersection. Stunting is illegal. The thought that it can teach drivers to be better is rationalization something that young people do frequently to justify their actions. You want to learn to drive in poor weather conditions try a driving training school.

The top 2 most dangerous vehicles on the roads are 4wd SUV's and 4wd pickups!

They are taller, higher center of gravity, light rear ends, braking is a concern, stability is in doubt and so forth...

I argued with a moron back in the day that believed a vehicle with a higher gross vehicle weight was safer. I said wow that's just great when you loose control and crash into a ditch and now that gross vehicle weight is what will kill you as you roll it...

With my 4wd Tacoma, I will be one of the slower vehicles in the winter, too bad! When I had my 88 Celica GTS I was typically the only one in the left lane during winter storms. That car was low to the ground and guess what? It was a manual tranny, I rarely braked in the winter. Get off the throttle or downshift...

When it comes to winter driving, automatic tranny's are an overlooked cause as to why people end up in the ditch. Automatic tranny's mean more use of the brakes thus lose of control.

Don't be lazy, get a manual tranny...

I have had 9 pickups, all chevy (s-10's and 1500's). im 25 now and drive semi trucks accross the nation. I have been in 2 accidents when i was 17, thats it! I wont say that im the best driver out there, but the people at trucking school that trained me said i was the best in class with watching out and taking care of where my 80 foot vehicle is and being weary of others! I learned how to be careful after my accidents and since then have learned how how to drive properly in all conditions on all roads with any vehicle from bicycles to semi's with 53 foot trailers. I chose to drive pickups to start with because of the challenge of keeping them steady on the road. Now that im a professional driver, i respect vehicles even more. I learned to drive my pickup in a walmart parking lot and in the woods during winter, now i have learned to drive a semi on ice going down a mountain! Bigger is not safer in my book, you just have to be smarter than the vehicle you are driving!

I'm 26. Every vehicle I've owned was a pickup (Ranger, Ram 1500, F-250, currently Ram 2500). I still don't own a car. I too drive tractor-trailers (28', 45', 48', 53', and 28' doubles....soon to be a dump trailer though). Knock on wood, I've had no accidents, tickets, or violations. It all depends on the driver. You can't blame a vehicle for the driver's actions. Remember; the pencil didn't mispell the word!!

@Jordan,

im pretty sure everyone on this form who's driven a pickup has done a burnout before. Maybe i should explain to you that its extremely easy and unpredictable in wet conditions when the back is unloaded. But im sure, being the experienced driver you are, you knew that already.

At what point did i clam to be a good driver?

Sorry but this couldn't be more appropriate for this conversation:

http://www.f150online.com/forums/2009-2011-f-150/428650-crash-150-miles-pic-heavy.html

@ 4.3monte1109
"everyday I parked between a single cab dodge dually that was driven by a 4'10 sophomore girl and a crew cab lariat with a 10 inch lift driven by a douche"

Wow I love girls who drive "big rig" trucks! Makes them look and feel independent. Too bad she's in high school though.

@ Jay I owned an 85 Mustang GT when I was 17. I did more than my fair share of stupid driving. It is probably more luck than anything that I am alive. Now I`ve grown up. Married, kids, morgage, life insurance. When I drive I have to share the road with kids who drive just as stupid as I did. Just take the advice and be careful when you drive, thats all I`m saying.

I wouldn't say that having a large truck is more dangerous. My stock 97 PSD definately is not speed deamon in any aspect, and my 84 turbo'd IDI 5 speed is even slower...soo...

SCCA has a teen driving class that is held throughout the year around the country, look it up!

Your local SCCA parking lot auto-x would be a great way to train moron teens on how to drive properly. Be it not with a 4wd pickup.

SCCA is a great resource after all I am a high-speed instructor.

@bigger is better

Quote - "Studies have shown bigger is safer !!!"
For whom?
Why don't you post those studies for me?

16 - 17 year olds do not have any driving skills or more importantly - experience.
They are more likely to be involved in an MVC.
If they are driving a large vehicle they are much more likely to get into trouble if they lose control.

What happens when you loose control of a large vehicle and hit someone?
More mass equals more force. More kinetic energy to be transferred to the occupants of both vehicles.

All you are doing is cherry picking data to show your point.

On average a car can out handle a pickup.
On average a car can out stop a pickup.

You are a rare exception quote - "Glad my dad took me to an empty lot doing donuts,powerslides"

How many kids "stunt" in the presence of their parents?

The problem is - it is done in crowded parking lots, city streets, alleyways, and in all sorts of uncontrolled environments. Key word – UNCONTROLLED ENVIRONMENTS.

A study was done in one of the Scandinavian countries. They taught teens skid control.
Much to their surprise - it did not help.
Why - it made the teens overconfident.
If you are overconfident you overdrive your vehicle. Inexperience and a lack of maturity did not temper those new skills.

To quote you 1 last time - "..20some odd years and 0 wrecks...over 2 million miles driven "

You drive 100,000 miles a year?

I find that hard to believe.

Just like the rest of your post.

To quote my earlier post “If you ask a driver, any driver to rate their skills: the vast majority(close to 100%) would rate their skills as good to excellent.
That is the real scary part!”

Raise the age to 18!!!

Teens should be focusing on their education, not getting teen jobs or partying which is why they get a vehicle anyway!

I do not pay property taxes so moron teens can get a car, raise insurance rates and get a teen job. I pay property taxes for them to get an education, not a car!!!

I say let all the truck supporters get their kids a truck. Let all the car supporters get their kids a car. And let Darwin work out the survival of the fittest. Personally, I vote car. All the comparisons of crash worthiness etc need to be weighed agaoinst performance stats like slalom and braking. And to the person who's comparing one Dodge SRT p/u out braking a Civic is a horrible comparison. They should compare the SRT P/U to the Dodge Viper. Same engine. brakes etc... In that comparison the p/u stops in 122 feet and the viper in less than 100. We can make up all the comparisons we want but an H2 hitting a smart four-two head on at 70 is gonna hurt the little car more. The bloody H2 weighs more than 6000#. We can't argue that. We car folks just say cars handle better (in general) than p/u's. They are lighter, nimbler and may avoid an accident or a more serious accident more often than a truck in the exact same instance. The truck folks point is once you do hit a Camry, the survivability in a truck is better because its bigger, heavier etc.

i am 18 and my first truck was a 03 silverado 1500hd but i have just upgraded to a 2008 f350 crew cab shortbed srw with the 6.4 powerstroke and people sayin young teenagers done have the driving skills to drive a truck are dumb, kids who have bigger trucks are more cautious while driving then these kids driving these little rice burners

@mvs - I do hope that you are cautious regardless of what you drive.

Hopefully, in the next 10 years or so, you'll wake up one morning and say to yourself - "when I was a teenager - I did not know my ass from a hole in the ground" .
I like to think that all of us go through that transition in life. It's called growing up.

@ oxi - I agree that teens should be focused on their education.
I know I wasn't at that age. Testosterone and girls cloud one's judgement. LOL.
I don't have a problem with teens or young adults working hard and paying their own way. That is how one learns responsibility and a proper work ethic.
What gets me are parents who spoil their kids by getting them muscle cars, sports cars, or 4x4 trucks with no strings attached.
That just teachs them laziness and irresponsibility. Why work or look after anything when I get it all for free.
Quick and easy - that is what kids learn from that sort of thing.
Free countries were not built on quick and easy.
You see that same attitude starting to permeate society. The GMC bailout immediately comes to mind.

@Jordan,

Much appreciated, will do ;)

I agree that most kids would probably be safter in a car then a truck due to thier driving dynamics, yes in a head on crash between a Ram and a Civic, I'd much rather be in Ram, but the Civic has less chance of being in an accident in the first place with most teens. That said I have driven trucks so far and I do drive on the aggressive side, but I also know when to slow down and take it easy like rain and snow something young kids don't seem to understand no matter what they drive.

People see a MVC and look at the small vehicle totaled and the bigger one with what appears to be minimal damage. They automatically assume that the bigger vehicle is safer due to appearances.
I was at an MVC in the '80's. A Mustang hit a Jeep Wagoneer head on at high speeds. We arrived at the scene with another Ambulance. The Mustang was demolished. The engine and tranny was laying 50 feet away, the front frame section was laying in another spot, the sheet metal in another pile. The Wagoneer had a moderate amount of damage but looked like it faired much better than the Mustang.
Guess what - the guy from the Mustang was up walking around with virtually no injuries. The driver of the Wagoneer had some chest trauma and his wife shattered a femur.
The whole concept of unibody vehicles, crumple zones etc. is based on the concept of "room to live". The rest of the vehicle crumples and falls apart with little force transfered to the occupants.
Cars usually are better engineered for "room to live" as crash standards are higher and a "unibody" is probably better for dissipating kinetic energy throughout the structure.

Basically - how much force is transfered to the occupants and how fast the force is transfered effects survivability.

Common sense says a bigger vehicle is safer but physics in most instances will indicate otherwise.

How many fatalities do you see in Formula 1. The car disintegrates and the driver walks away.

Kinetic energy is basically the energy stored within an object that is in motion. The bigger the object the more energy it takes to get it moving. That means there is more energy "stored" within that object.

For an object that is moving the kinetic energy equals one half times the mass of the object times the square of the speed of the object. In symbols:

EK = (1/2)mv2

A bigger object ie. truck has more mass = more kinetic energy.
Speed is a huge determinant of kinetic energy.

Bigger is not necessarily better.

If you want a safe truck. Get the 2005 or 2006 GMC Sierra with Quadrasteer. The system turns all four wheels and cuts the turning radius to almost half.

I hope that I can get one as a first vehicle.



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