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Is It Illegal to Ride in the Back of a Truck in Georgia?

Posted in Truck Accidents on March 9, 2020

Riding in the back of a pickup truck is something that many people do not think twice about. After all, this type of behavior is seen on TV shows, in movies, and in music videos with regularity. However, many people may not understand that there are laws in Georgia that regulate this type of behavior.

Just because riding in the back of a truck is fun and convenient, that does not mean it is safe. Riding in the back of a pickup truck can lead to serious injuries. Here, we want to discuss what Georgia law says about this and look at some of the injuries that can occur as a result of this behavior.

Is It Illegal to Ride in the Back of a Truck in Georgia?

What the law says

Georgia law makes it illegal for anyone who is under the age of 18 to ride as a passenger in the bed of a pickup truck on an interstate highway anywhere in the state (O.C.G.A. § 40-8-79).

It is legal for anyone over the age of 18 to ride in a truck on any roadway in the state, and those under 18 can ride in truck beds on smaller roadways in the state.

What kind of injuries can happen?

Just because the law makes it legal for most people in Georgia to ride in the back of trucks as passengers does not mean it is safe. This is an incredibly dangerous riding behavior that can result in serious injuries or death.

The back of trucks are designed for cargo, not people. There are no safety seats and no restraints installed by truck manufacturers. In the event that a crash occurs when there are passengers in the back of a truck, there is no protection from an impact. It is very likely that passengers will be ejected, especially if a crash occurs at high speeds.

In many cases, there does not have to even be a crash for an injury to occur. Even at low speeds, if a truck goes around sharp curves or has to swerve to avoid an obstacle, truck bed occupants have no way to keep themselves from being thrown around the truck bed or out of the truck bed altogether.

Injuries from these accidents can be severe and often include the following:

  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Concussions
  • Open head wounds
  • Severe lacerations
  • Amputations
  • Internal organ damage
  • Internal bleeding
  • Broken and dislocated bones
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Whiplash injuries

Victims who survive these incidents often face long recovery periods. Medical bills from these injuries can be tremendous, reaching into the tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars. Survivors of truck accidents such as this often incur immense pain and suffering due to their injuries.

Are there safe options for riding in the back of a truck?

There are several aftermarket seats sold that are designed to be installed in the back of a pickup. They are equipped with seatbelts and work to improve the safety of those who ride in the back. However, these seats are not federally approved and have undergone no official crash tests. This is not an endorsement of these seats, but rather a warning not to use them. The best practice for pickup truck operation is for all passengers to ride inside the cab of a truck. If there is not enough space for every passenger, other arrangements should be made.

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