If you live in the country or in rural areas, you probably see people riding in open beds of pickup trucks fairly often. While it’s technically legal in some cases for people to ride in open pickup beds, the accident and injury lawyers at the Anderson Law Firm in Fort Worth know it’s never a good idea because it’s simply not safe.
Texas Law Regarding Pickup Trucks:
Technically, Texas law states that it’s legal for persons over 18 to ride in an open bed of a pickup truck, or persons under 18 if it’s the only family vehicle and under certain circumstances. This law supersedes the old law that said that anyone over the age of 12 could ride in an open bed. However, just because it’s legal doesn’t mean it’s safe – in fact, it’s really not.
Safety Issues Riding in an Open Bed:
Riding in the open bed of a pickup truck just isn’t safe. On sudden stops or bumps, the passengers in an open bed get thrown around, and can even get thrown out of the bed. This can be lethal in traffic, or in the event of a motor vehicle accident.
In a truck wreck, a truck could go from 45 miles per hour to a dead stop just from colliding with another vehicle. However, a person traveling in the truck bed would continue to travel at 45 miles per hour when the rest of the truck stopped, which at the very least would cause severe injuries, but more typically ejects the passenger from the truck.
At that point, hitting the road at 45 miles per hour can cause serious injuries. Even worse, though, is being ejected in traffic, because it’s possible for people to then land in front of oncoming traffic. People die every year in open bed truck accidents and it’s so dangerous that it’s simply not worth the risk.
Add a Cab or Bed Cover if You Want to Carry Passengers:
If you want to carry passengers, you can add a cab to your truck and install seat belts in the back for maximum protection. A cab can prevent passengers from being ejected in an accident, and seat belts restrain people during accidents. Cabs can be found relatively inexpensively for most trucks, and it’s worth the cost to save lives.
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