How to Choose a 4x4 Truck

4x4 Truck Safety

The Dodge Ram 2500
The Dodge Ram 2500
Courtesy of Chrysler Group LLC

Like just about every other vehicle on the road, 4x4 trucks have benefited greatly from advances in safety technology over the past two decades.

Let's start with something we almost always take for granted, the humble airbag. Not only does it pop out of the center of the steering wheel in the event of a crash, but many trucks used for off-roading surround the cabin with airbags to help prevent serious injury. The Dodge Ram 2500, for example, offers advanced multi-stage front airbags for driver and passenger, plus side curtain airbags. It also uses an Enhanced Accident Response System that turns on interior lamps, unlocks the doors, turns on hazard lights and shuts off the fuel in case of an accident -- whether you hit another car on the freeway or a hidden rock in a snow bank.

More advanced safety systems can be found in many trucks built for off-road driving, like the Toyota Tundra. It has rollover sensors that deploy the side curtain airbags, plus four-wheel disc brakes with ABS, brake assist and electronic brake-force distribution, stability control and traction control. Lots of trucks have these kinds of safety measures on board, plus rigid frames and crumple zones for better handling and fewer injuries to passengers.

Taking all these suggestions into consideration will help you find the 4x4 truck you want to take off-road. But that's just the beginning. Keep reading to learn about the wide, wide world of off-road accessories.