Riding in the Bed of a Truck in Michigan

Riding in the Bed of a Truck in Michigan

People who ride in the beds of pickup trucks are more likely to get injured, their injuries tend to be more severe, and they have a greater chance of dying than persons riding in the cab. The greatest risk is the chance of being ejected during a crash or even in non-crash events like sudden stops, swerves, and sharp turns. In an effort to reduce these preventable deaths, many states enacted rules that specifically address who if anybody can ride in the cargo area.

Michigan’s Vehicle Code

There are many states that do not have laws that specifically address riding in the cargo area of a vehicle. But we do, and Section 257.682b of the Michigan Code speaks directly to riding in the open bed of a pickup truck and makes violations of the law a civil infraction.

Michigan Vehicle Code says that no person under the age of 18 can ride in the open bed of a pickup truck, except –

  • when in parades
  • when in a military vehicle
  • when in an emergency vehicle
  • when part of a search and rescue team traveling to or from the emergency
  • while doing farm or construction work
  • if the vehicle is traveling under 15 miles per hour

People who violate this law can be fined.

What About Animals?

If you need to transport an animal in the bed of your pickup truck, Section 750.50(2)(d) makes it illegal to do so without the animal being secured in a rack, crate, cage, or car that is large enough for the animal to stand, lie down, and turn around. This means that it is illegal to let your dogs or other animals ride free in the bed of your truck. Violations of this law may be punished by jail time, a fine, and community service.

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