Riding In The Cargo Area In Delaware
There was a time when people did not think twice about riding in the cargo area of a pickup truck. However, riding in the back of a truck can be dangerous, especially if the truck is involved in an accident. The danger can be especially serious for children. While most states do not view riding in this area as dangerous enough to enact laws, some states do have laws governing this activity.
What is Delaware’s Law Regarding Riding in The Cargo Area?
Delaware does not have a law making it illegal for passengers, including children, to ride in the back of your pickup truck. However, Delaware does have child restraint laws and seat belt laws that could apply to a passenger in the back of your truck. For example, Delaware requires that all children under eight years old must be secured in a child safety seat that is designed for the child’s age, height, and weight. Children between the ages of 8 and 15 years must be properly secured in a seatbelt when riding in a vehicle.
Therefore, the child restraint laws in Delaware could apply when a child is riding in the back of a pickup truck. However, the penalty for violating this law is a small fine.
What About Accidents?
If you are involved in an accident, and someone is injured who was riding in the back of your truck, the other driver could argue that you and your passengers were partly responsible for their injuries because it is more dangerous to ride in the back compared to riding in the truck cab with a seatbelt and airbags.
Under Delaware’s comparative negligence law, your compensation could be reduced by the percent of fault assigned to you for an accident. If you did not contribute to the accident, a jury may decide compensation should not be reduced simply based on the location of the passenger when there is no law prohibiting sitting in the back of a truck. This will not prevent the insurance company for the other driver from attempting to use this argument to deny or devalue a personal injury claim.