Tailgating is a great way to make watching football games more fun as you spend time eating and spending time with family and friends. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic has restricted people’s ability to participate in this activity, since large gatherings are unsafe. Still, you can take your first steps into this awesome American pastime now by getting yourself a pickup truck suitable for future parties and learning how to drive it well. Follow these tips for first-time pickup truck drivers so you can stay safe going to and from games later on.
Give Yourself More Room
When you’re more used to smaller cars, it can be surprising just how differently a pickup truck handles. Because it’s so much bulkier and heavier, you won’t always be able to make the same tight turns and sudden stops you could in a sedan. At the same time, your truck’s extra weight makes it a greater threat to other drivers if you drive recklessly. For these reasons, you should give yourself more room while on the road so that you reduce your chances of a collision. Keep in mind that your turns will be wider, and that braking will require more distance. Practice in a less busy area or parking lot in the beginning if you feel like this is something you need.
Stay Aware of Blind Spots
Similarly, larger vehicles like pickup trucks have wider blind spots. The space directly behind your truck bed is also an area that you’ll have trouble seeing from the driver’s seat. Know where your vision is limited and move even more slowly than normal when backing up. This way, you’ll have less of a chance of accidentally running into someone or something. Additionally, you can find aftermarket backup cameras that you can install on your truck’s rear to aid you, as well as upgraded versions of rearview mirrors. It might be worthwhile to invest in these now, especially since your eventual tailgating will usually be in busy stadium parking lots.
Be Prepared for Night Driving
For games that start in the afternoon and end late in the day, you should be prepared for night driving in your pickup truck. You may need to drive somewhat slower since you have reduced visibility after the sun goes down. It’s also possible to see better at night by taking certain measures. For example, cleaning your windshield and windows regularly to reduce dust-related glare can make maneuvering in the dark much easier. You might also want to install additional lights, such as fog lights, so that you’re ready for any situation you run into while in your pickup truck.