Unlike when you get a new car, safety isn't usually the first thing you consider when shopping for an off-road vehicle. But although you won't meet as much traffic around the farm or out hunting, that doesn't mean safety isn't important. So let's take a look at how Japanese mini trucks like the Daihatsu Hijets or Suzuki Carrys for sale at our independent dealers look after you.

Seat belts

Picture this -- your mini truck is basically a truck, just mini-sized. It's as if some has taken a regular pickup truck and shrunk it down. So, when it comes to safety features, your mini truck has a level of safety equipment that is much higher than you will be used to with a UTV.

Japanese mini truck full 3-point safety belts
Full 3-point safety belts with tensioners.

Seat belts are a good example. While UTVs often have lap belts or 4-point harnesses, our Japanese mini trucks have the kind of 3-point inertia reel seat belts you will find in a car. They're easy to take on and off. They feel comfortable and "right" because that's what you're used to in your regular truck. Plus the inertia reel mechanism means you can easily move in your seat, or reach for something behind the passenger seat, for example, without the seat belt locking. In other words, normal use is free and comfortable, but then they lock right away to hold you in place if there's ever an impact or hard braking. The best of both worlds.

Headlights, and tail lights

Whether you're going out into the fields early in the morning or in poor weather conditons and you need powerful headlights so you can find your way, your Japanese mini truck has these features as standard to keep you well-lit and safe.

Japanese mini truck headlights with turn signals
Headlights in a Daihatsu Hijet

ABS (Anti-lock braking system)

Stability under braking is just as important off-road as it is on the street. Sure, you won't have kids leaping out from between parked cars in a school zone, as could happen when you're driving your car, but there will be times when you need to brake hard on muddy, icy or snowy surfaces when the reduced stopping distance and greater control ABS gives you could be the difference between making it back home in one piece, and a nasty impact with a tree.

While there are some UTV models that do come with ABS, in the UTV world the term "ABS" more often describes the type of plastic used for the doors or mirrors, rather than this safety feature. On the mini trucks? ABS brakes are a standard feature, as you would expect.

Hardened steel safety shell

Yet again, the Japanese mini truck shows it's far ahead of the UTV competition with this safety feature -- a full, hardened steel safety shell. Now, most people think in terms of how this creates a sealed weather-proof cab that keeps the elements and dirt at bay much better than anything you'll find on a UTV. But there's more to it than comfort. The underlying welded steel structure also creates a rigid, protected shell to keep riders safe in the event of an accident as well.

Pull up alongside a UTV, and you'll see right away that there's just no comparison. The UTV has a steel frame, overlayered with insubstantial plastic panels that form the body. It's not only structurally weaker, but those panels also give much less protection from intruding objects than the mini truck's steel enclosure. Not great if you hit something out on the trails.

Daihatsu Hijet Jumbo Xtreme from right side
Daihatsu Hijet Jumbo Xtreme from right side

Japanese mini trucks are also limited to max 20 MPH and are for use off-road only, so the speed of any impact is going to relatively low, further improving safety. No one wants to have an accident, but you'll want to be sure you're in a mini truck if you do.