Is it permissible to travel in the cargo area of a pickup truck in Tennessee?

Is it legal to ride in the bed of a pickup truck in Tennessee?

Is It Safe to Ride in the Bed of a Pickup Truck?

According to Tennessee Traffic Safety Resource Services, riding in the cab of a pickup truck, where passengers have access to seats and seatbelts, is the safest option. Shockingly, over 200 individuals lose their lives each year due to riding in pickup truck beds, with children and teenagers comprising more than half of these tragic fatalities.

What Makes Riding in a Truck Bed Dangerous?

Being ejected from a vehicle in the event of a crash poses the most significant danger for individuals riding in the bed of a truck. (View a crash test in the video below.) Yet, for those who opt for a truck equipped with a cargo cover or camper shell, an additional concern arises— the potential risk of carbon monoxide poisoning stemming from the truck’s exhaust.

The cargo area of a pickup truck, with or without a canopy, has proven to be a source of injuries and death to children and adults. In addition to the possibility of being ejected, passengers riding in covered cargo beds are exposed to carbon monoxide from exhaust fumes. Ejection from the cargo area during a collision was the major cause of injury and death for pickup truck passengers. TNTrafficeSafety.org

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Crash test shows why you should never ride in the back of a pickup truck

Is It Illegal to Ride in the Bed of a Truck in Tennessee?

According to Tennessee law, it is illegal in certain situations for children under six years old to ride in the bed of a pickup truck, regardless of the road being traveled. Additionally, it is against the law to ride in the bed of a pickup truck with a one-ton rating, such as a Ford F-350 Super Duty, Chevrolet 3500-series, or an equivalent vehicle.

When and Where Is It Legal to Ride in the Bed of a Truck in Tennesse?

In Tennessee, although riding in the bed of a truck may not be considered safe, there are certain situations where it is actually legal. One such instance is when the truck is specifically designed to carry a half-ton or three-quarter-ton rating, similar to vehicles like the Ford F-150, Ford F-250 Super Duty, Chevrolet 1500-series, Chevrolet 2500-series, or their equivalent counterparts.

Age Restrictions for Riding in the Bed of a Truck in Tennessee

Children between the ages of six and twelve are allowed to ride in the back of a truck while it is being driven on municipal streets or county roads. As for those who are twelve years old and above, they have the freedom to ride in the bed of a truck on any type of road, including state highways and interstates.

Davidson County, Tennessee Has Its Own Law on Riding in Truck Beds

According to Grover Collins of Collins Legal in Nashville, Metro Code 12.68.140 in Davidson County, Tennessee states that individuals riding in a truck bed must ensure that all parts of their body remain within the bed of the truck. This means that no arms or legs should be hanging over the sides of the truck bed.

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