Is it legal to ride in the back of a pickup truck in Texas?

dangers-of-riding-in-the-bed-of-a-pickupIt is legal for adults to ride in a truck bed in Texas, but that doesn’t mean it’s safe. Truck beds are designed to carry cargo, not people. They lack safety restraints, and even seemingly minor low-speed crashes can result in serious injury or even death.

The Law and Exceptions to it in Texas

There is no law forbidding adults in Texas from riding in the back of a pickup truck. For those under the age of 18, it is generally illegal to ride in a pickup bed, with a few exceptions. Violators risk a misdemeanor traffic violation, which imposes a fine between $25 and $200. There are a few exceptions to this rule, however. Children are permitted to ride in the back of a pickup during:

  • An emergency
  • A parade or hayride
  • Farm-related activities
  • Drives on a beach

Dangers of Riding in a Pickup Bed

An object in motion tends to stay in motion, and that’s what makes seat belts so crucial. They prevent passengers from flying through the air in the event of a collision. Even a minor fender-bender can toss an unrestrained passenger from the back of a pickup, dramatically increasing the risk of serious injury and even death. If the passenger isn’t ejected from the truck bed, he can still suffer from severe injuries caused while rolling around in the back during an accident. Rear-end collisions are particularly dangerous, since passengers risk being thrown from the bed, and in front of the truck. Common injuries resulting from this type of accident include:

  • Neck injuries
  • Spinal cord damage
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Bone fractures
  • Broken bones

You Need an Attorney

If you’ve been injured while riding in the bed of a pickup truck, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. If your employer required you to sit in the back of the truck due to a lack of seats, you likely have a case against the company. To learn more, contact the Cain Law Firm to schedule a free, no-obligation case evaluation.