Is it Legal to Ride in the Back of a Truck in California and What Are the Risks?

While California is known for its palm-studded roads and fashionable cities, it’s also home to vast amounts of farmland and vineyards. So many of our small towns retain the comfort of country living, where riding in the back of a pickup truck is not uncommon. This brings up the question… what legal rights does a person have if they are injured while riding in the back of a truck?

Eric Ratinoff Law Corp. is a personal injury law firm that helps people in California who have been injured in car accidents. If you were considering opting for a seat in the back of a truck on your next outing, you should know about the risks and whether or not it is legal in California.

What Are California’s Cargo-Area Riding Laws?

In California, it is legal to ride in the cargo area or back of a truck as long as one of the following is true:

  • There is a federally approved restraint system that restrains you while in the back of the truck.
  • The truck you are riding in is a farm-owned vehicle that does not leave farmland unless to travel a one-mile stretch of highway between different parts of the farm.
  • You are in the back of the truck for a parade; however, the vehicle must not go more than 8 miles per hour.
  • There is an emergency situation that requires you to be in the bed of the truck.

If you are caught riding in the back of a truck and your situation does not match any of the legal scenarios, you will face penalties. For the first offense you will be fined $100, for the second offense you will be fined $200, and for every time you are caught unlawfully riding in the back of a truck after your second offense you will be fined $250.

What Are the Dangers of Riding in the Bed of a Truck?

Riding in the bed of a truck may seem like a fun idea, but it can also be dangerous. Some of the risks concerning riding in the back of a truck include:

  • Truck beds are designed to carry cargo not people
  • In the event of a crash, truck beds provide no protection to passengers seated inside
  • When going over a bumpy road, most truck beds do not have any restraints to hold passengers inside the bed
  • It is easy to fall out or be ejected from the truck bed even at low speeds

If a person is in the bed of a truck at the time of a crash, they may suffer the following injuries:

  • Head injuries
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Broken or fractured bones
  • Back, neck, or spine injuries
  • Paralysis
  • Severe burns
  • Crushed limbs
  • Loss of limbs
  • Cuts or lacerations
  • Internal injuries
  • Death

If you have been injured in an accident while riding in the back of a truck, you may be owed financial compensation for your injuries. To get help with your claim, contact an experienced truck bed accident lawyer.

Contact a California Truck Bed Accident Lawyer

When riding in the bed of a truck, an accident could happen at any time leaving you severely injured. To get help with your accident claim, contact a California truck accident lawyer as soon as possible.

Eric Ratinoff Law Corp. has over 25 years of experience fighting for people in California who were injured by someone else’s careless or negligent behavior. Attorney Eric Ratinoff is passionate about pursuing the maximum amount in compensation that his clients are owed. To schedule a free consultation, contact us here or call (916) 970-9100.