Pickup trucks have long been among the most popular vehicles sold, and Statistica states the number of new pickup trucks sold in the United States continues to grow. Between 2015 and 2016, 2.7 million pickups were sold, and some 2.24 million of those were full-sized pickups. According to the data and statistics site GoodCarBadCar, Canadian sales of pickup trucks jumped by 8 percent in 2016, equating to roughly 27,000 additional units sold.
A recent study from the Automotive News Data Center found the big three pickup manufacturers, which include Ford, GM and Dodge, sell an average of 6,500 trucks every day in North America. The automotive news resource The Drive points out the Ford F-150 has been the best-selling truck for 40 consecutive years.
While the popularity of pickup trucks may be evident to today’s motorists, just who is behind the wheels of those trucks may come as a surprise. According to a recent study from MaritzCX, covering the 2016 model year, more people from affluent families are opting for pickup trucks than economy cars. The Ford F-150 was the most popular vehicle among households earning more than $200,000 a year. Jeep Grand Cherokee, Honda Pilot and Jeep Wrangler were also tops among high-income Americans.
Other factors also may be contributing to the popularity of pickup trucks. A survey from Insure.com asked 2,000 licensed drivers ages 18 and up to rank the kinds of vehicles driven by the most attractive members of the opposite sex. The survey found that women prefer drivers of black pickup trucks.
Motorists who have never before driven pickup trucks but are mulling whether or not to join the truck-loving masses can consider a host of factors as they begin looking for trucks.
- Size: Pickups are larger than many other vehicles and tend to be heavier. As a result, when driving a pickup, leave more space for braking and do not tailgate.
- Blind spots: Because pickup trucks are longer than cars, they may have larger blind spots. Drivers should adjust the mirrors to diminish as much of their blind spots as possible. Also, give ample notice when changing lanes or making turns.
- Reverse: Upon purchasing a pickup, first-time truck owners may benefit from practicing driving in reverse so they can grow accustomed to doing so in a truck.
- Hauling gear: Be sure to properly restrain items that are hauled in the pickup truck bed, or invest in a bed cover so nothing is lost and safety is not compromised.
- Inclement weather driving: Pickup trucks have very little weight in the back when their beds are empty. This can cause trucks to fishtail on wet or snowy roads. Alleviate this by placing some sandbags in truck beds before driving in poor weather.
Pickup trucks are among the most popular vehicles on the road, but drivers may need to alter their driving habits when operating them.