Is it Legal to Ride in the Back of a Pickup Truck in Florida?
Most states have laws prohibiting passengers from riding in cargo areas of vehicles or, at least, laws restricting passengers in the back of pickup trucks. While Florida does not prohibit passengers in the back of a truck, it does limit the age of those passengers.
Section 316.2015 of the 2016 Florida Statutes states that no person under the age of 18 years may ride in the back of a truck. However, there are two exceptions to this rule. In the event of a medical emergency, a minor can ride in the cargo area if accompanied by an adult. In addition, it is legal for minors to ride in the bed of a truck if the truck has modified seating to include safety restraints that prevent the child from being thrown, falling, or jumping from the truck.
Furthermore, counties in Florida may take action to be exempt from this law. To become exempt from the state law, the county’s governing body must pass legislation by a majority vote after a noticed public hearing on the matter.
Do I Need an Attorney for a Truck Accident?
If you are injured while riding in the bed of a truck, the insurance company for the other driver may argue you are responsible for your injuries. It is important that you present compelling evidence to show that your injuries are the direct result of the collision and not anything you did or did not do. Our Florida truck accident attorneys can help you fight that allegation to prevent the company from denying your claim.
If I Can Legally Ride in the Cargo Area, Why Shouldn’t I?
Riding in the cargo area of a truck can be extremely dangerous. In a collision, you have no protection from the impact of the crash. Without seat belts or proper restraints, you can be thrown from the vehicle in an accident. In a rear-end collision, the force of the impact can propel you over the front of the truck causing you to be run over. In a side-crash, you can be pinned under the truck if the truck rolls from the impact of the other vehicle.
In addition to the increased risk of death and traumatic injury during a truck accident, you can suffer injuries from getting into and out of the rear of a truck. Truck beds can become very slippery making it hazardous to enter and exit. Furthermore, when you are riding in the cargo area, you have an increased exposure to carbon monoxide fumes.
Taking into consideration the increased risk of injury and death, it is not worth the risk to ride in the rear or cargo area of a truck.
Common Injuries Sustained in Truck Accidents
Truck bed passengers can sustain devastating and life-altering injuries from accidents. In addition to sustaining cuts and bruises, a truck bed passenger is likely to sustain one or more of the following injuries:
- Broken bones and fractures
- Head trauma and brain injuries, including traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Spinal cord and back injuries that can result in partial or complete paralysis
- Severe road rash
- Internal bleeding and damage to internal organs
- Severe burns, scarring, and disfigurement
We urge you to consider your safety and the safety of your family; avoid riding in a truck’s bed whenever possible.