Can You Ride in the Cargo Area of Vehicle in Ohio?

Can You Ride in the Cargo Area of Vehicle in Ohio?

Ohio has about 1.6 million registered pickup trucks, giving evidence to the fact that we love our trucks. Unfortunately, nearly 6,100 pickups were involved in traffic crashes in 2015. Of those, 230 were fatal crashes and 14,743 were injury accidents, the National Highway Safety Administration reports.

Rollover accidents cause more deaths and injuries than any other accident type in the United States, and people in pickups are thrice as likely to be in a rollover accident than other types of vehicles. Yet, pickup truck occupants are some of the most likely to not wear a seatbelt even though doing so can increase your odds are living through a rollover crash by 70 to 80 percent.

What’s the Ohio Open Cargo Law?

The law says that in Ohio, people who are under 16 years of age are only allowed to ride in the cargo area of a vehicle if –

  • the vehicle is driven under 25 miles per hour, or
  • if the person is secured in an OEM seating position

A person can also ride in the cargo area in emergency situations. These laws are not applicable to pickup trucks with covered cargo areas.

Be aware, the law also prohibits anyone from riding in a cargo area if the tailgate is unlatched, unless the person is a road worker under the authority of a public agency.

Excessive Dangers

Be aware that riding in the cargo area, even if the pickup has a camper shell, isn’t safe no matter the age of the rider. Nearly one-third of those who ride in cargo areas died in non-crash events, including in sudden stops, swerves, turns, as well as from losing their balance and falling from the vehicle. In fact, the risk of dying while riding in the cargo area is 8 times higher than the risk for restrained occupants in the cab.

WordPress Lightbox Plugin