Minnesota Law: Is It Legal to Ride in the Bed of a Truck?
Few activities so universally pander to our sense of nostalgia as riding in the back of a pickup truck under the summer sun. But is it legal? Laws surrounding this subject vary from state to state, so we pulled some information from Minnesota traffic statutes to get you the answer!
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Is It Legal to Ride in the Back of a Pickup Truck?
It’s actually legal in Minnesota for passengers to ride in the bed of a pickup truck, whether or not the truck has a topper. It’s also among the minority of states that have no age restrictions for passengers riding in the back of a truck. But legal and safe are two entirely different concepts. Don’t stop reading now because there are a few more things you should know before you decide to take off.
Is It Safe to Ride in the Back of a Pickup Truck?
As tempting as it may be, transporting passengers in the bed of a pickup truck is dangerous. Hundreds of people die each year as a result of riding in the cargo area of pickup trucks. In the event of a collision, passengers are at risk of being thrown from the vehicle and potentially hurled into oncoming traffic. Even the simple act of slamming on the brakes or swerving to avoid an obstacle could be potentially life-threatening.
People riding in the box area of a covered pickup truck are also at significant risk, as they do not have access to the same life-saving features that are built into the truck’s cabin, such as seatbelts and airbags. Truck canopies also aren’t sealed as well as passenger compartments, allowing passengers to be exposed to dangerous amounts of carbon monoxide fumes. In 1992, a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that nearly a third of the children brought to the Virginia Mason Medical Center during a six-year period with carbon monoxide poisoning had been riding in the back of a covered pickup.