Heh, sorry about the inflammatory title but I've got a case of Prius fever and need some advice. I have a 98 Dodge Ram 1500, 2WD, 5.7L V8 extended cab and am enjoying an average of 14.5mpg. I like the truck but mostly it's just me, a dog, and a bicycle so it's *just a little* more vehicle than I need. It has 145,000 miles and is running perfectly.

I've become a regular NPR listener, a vegetarian, and now I'm thinking "Gee, I am sick and tired of giving unfriendly countries money for oil" and "I'm not a big fan of "big oil" either". (actually, I've even switched from skiing to snowboarding but that's another thread). So I'm thinking about reducing my oil consumption and greenhouse gas emissions (all in one "swoop")

Money is not a huge problem, I don't mind spending 60$ to fill up, I don't mind driving my truck longer, but I also can afford to buy a new vehicle. But I need some value...I guess I'm frugal at heart.

So I've talked this over with my wife and she said "you're not driving a little deathtrap like that, take my Suburban and I'll buy another one." Now it's an 02, 4WD, in perfect mint condition so that wouldn't be too bad really....

I'm a defensive driver, been called a "granny" more than once, never had an accident (I'm 38). But people get killed driving every day and if it's just a matter of dealing with 14mpg to improve my odds, I don't have a huge problem with that.

So my question is, do you guys feel any less safe in a Prius than a giant SUV? Is this a rational fear? Or maybe it is a small increase in risk but worth it. I sure like the idea of 45 mpg....that's 3X what I'm getting now.

Thanks for the advice in advance