The Deadly Truth About Legally Riding In Truck Beds

The Deadly Truth About Riding In Truck Beds

 Photo Credit: Alejandro Cartagena

If you’re trying to find out what the Texas law is for people riding in open truck beds, you’ve come to the right place! 

The Texas Law About Riding in the Bed of A Truck:

  • Adults, age 18 and over, are legally allowed to ride in the open bed of a truck in Texas.
  • Children under the age of 18 are not allowed to ride in the open bed of a truck in Texas. There are several exceptions to this rule, and they include:
    • Children may ride in the back of a truck if it is for a parade or hayride, for farm-related activities, in the case of an emergency, or on a beach. 
    • Children may ride in the back of a truck if the vehicle is the only mode of transportation for a family.

If you do not qualify for one of these exceptions, you will be breaking the law and can ticketed and issued a fine for up to $200.

Why Riding in the Bed of A Truck is So Dangerous

We want to be very blunt: at any age, riding in the back of a pickup truck is very dangerous. Your chances of being thrown out of the bed of the pickup are insanely high. At high speeds, going around a tight curve or going over a bump could mean serious injuries for you. The risk for serious, life-threatening injuries increases even more if you’re involved in a car accident while sitting in the back of a pick up truck. Since truck beds don’t contain seat belts, your chances of being ejected from the truck bed or being crushed by a rolling truck are much higher. There’s nothing to keep you safe in the event of an accident.

Your safest option is to not ride in an open truck bed at all. If you must, safety advocates recommend traveling at low speeds and not traveling on busy highways or interstates. Drivers should avoid speeding, sudden maneuvers, and roadways with speed bumps or potholes. Safety advocates recommend that you never stand in a moving truck bed.

What Can You do If Your Job Requires You to Ride in the Bed of A Truck and You're Hurt In an Accident?

In 2011, an 18-wheeler hit a pickup truck on US-59 when crossing the San Jacinto River Bridge. Seven people were injured in this accident, one of whom was seriously injured. He was traveling in the open bed of the pickup truck and was thrown from the pickup on impact. According to news reports, the Conroe man suffered serious head and neck injuries and was airlifted to the hospital. This is the type of accident we see all the time in Texas. And the most tragic part is that it is avoidable. Don’t ride in the bed of a pickup truck.

If your job requires you to travel in a pickup truck, and you’ve been injured because you had to sit in the back on the way to a job site because there weren’t enough seat belts when the truck got into an accident, you likely have a case against your company.We represented the family of a man who died when the pickup truck he was traveling in struck a barrier, overturned, and ejected him from the bed of the pickup. Sadly, he died at the scene of the accident. 

Here at VB Attorneys, we understand that workers are forced to deal with less than ideal conditions, and riding in the bed of a pickup on the way to a job site is sometimes unavoidable. But we don’t accept that companies should continue to get away with not providing adequate safety measures for their workers. Companies should provide enough seat belts for all their workers.

If you or a loved one has been injured because you were forced to sit in the bed of a truck that had an accident, give us a call. Our experienced attorneys will help you figure out your legal options and the best way to proceed. Call us at 877.724.7800 or fill out a contact form on our site. 

Vuk Stevan Vujasinovic
Experienced Injury Lawyer. First Generation American. Life-Long Texan. Husband. Father.