Pickup Drivers

Generally speaking, I’ve observed that newer-model pickup truck drivers drive aggressively (particularly on the freeway). For example, they’ll drive faster than 80mph, they’ll weave in and out of traffic, they’ll tailgate. Generally speaking…i know there are exceptions to every rule.

But Why? Do A-type personalities generally buy these vehicles?

I’m also curious why people buy pickups. Now I know that some people actually buy and use trucks for business, ok? I know that some people actually buy them for their dirtbikes and what not. But do others buy them for the macho image? Do these buyers actually use the cargo space, other than to move their girlfriends’ sofas?

I suspect that the answer to your first question is confirmation bias. My guess is that you had one (or more) really bad experiences with pickup trucks and you are now convinved that pickup drivers behave differently than anyone else and you notice bad behavior among pickups more than among other car types.
(I have two neighbors who work near the same location, so their driving patterns are pretty much identical. One swears that the worst drivers on the road are behind the wheels of SUVs and the other insists that the worst drivers in the world drive BMWs, Lexuses (Lexi?), Infinitis, and Cadillacs. Each has an interminable list of anecdotes to “prove” their points and neither believes that the other one knows a thing about the subject. (They both drive modest sedans, so there is no ownership bias involved.)

If you actually made up a list of car types and checked off every incident you saw, I suspect that you would find that there is no lopsided majority of bad drivers in pickups. (Alternatively, you could check off every pickup with a plus or minus to indicate bad driving or normal driving and I suspect that you would find that the normal drivers far outweigh the nuts.)

My observations tend to indicate that jerky drivers drive:

  1. Pickups
  2. Pontiacs
  3. BMWs

Seriously, as far as tailgating, following too close, and speeding up to keep you from getting over, those three vehicle types are substantially over-represented.

My explanation for Pontiacs and BMWs if that the car are marketed for enthusiastic drivers, some of whom are also aggressive in traffic.
The explanations I have for pickups isn’t quite as convincing, but when I try to formulate a theory it comes back to stress levels associated with working-class jobs or a tendency towards lifestyles that lead you to believe “there aren’t enough hours in the day”.
This being said, I’ve seen jerky drivers in cars of most makes you could name, the exception being rare makes I’ve only seen a handful of on the road.
Ever notice that people in super-fast imported cars always seem to be going the exact speed limit? I guess if you’re tooling around in a Ferrarri you’re too afraid of wrecking it to actually wind it out.
Amazing the difference that driving in a white car that is in heavy use as a police interceptor has on the behavior of other drivers.
No one EVER tailgated me in my Chevy Caprice.

I’ve had a PU for the past 30 years. Just bought my first actual brand new one yesterday and I think I can safely say it puts me in the class of PU owners you’re targeting. A Dodge Ram 2500 diesel 4X4 with 4 doors.

I get a lot of use from my trucks though by far most of the time almost any vehicle would be just as useful. Used them to haul stuff, a lot of time spent off road, camping-hunting-fishing, etc. If they weren’t so handy to my way of life I’d probably have a Neon or something.

But Why? Do A-type personalities generally buy these vehicles?

No cite for any of the below, but anyway:

As a group they may be (probably are) more aggresive drivers than the average for the total population of drivers. But PU owners probably do not make up a random sampling of all drivers.

PUs allow freedom, certainly in the west where BLM land abounds, that isn’t as easily obtained by regular autos.

They make it much easier to do any number of outdoorsy kind of things.

Fewer women buy them and men tend to be more aggressive drivers.

PU purchasers probably tend to be younger. It seems reasonable to assume that for the over 65 crowd most PU purchasers are limited to those that need them for work, own campers, or similar reasons.

So I end up with the feeling that it isn’t the personality of the driver that demands a PU as it is the things a PU offers selects for a younger, male, possibly more adventurous/risktaking owner.

Course, I could be wrong.