All adults who drive know that North Carolina has a law requiring vehicle occupants to wear seat belts when vehicles are in motion. It might surprise some individuals to know that there isn’t a law that forbids people from riding in the bed of a pickup truck, where there are obviously no seat belts. There is a stipulation in the law stating that children who are under 16 years old must be accompanied in the bed of the truck by an adult if they are going to ride there.
This is a situation that makes you realize that just because something is legal, it doesn’t mean that it is a good idea. The Governor’s Highway Safety Program has made a video for the public that shows what can happen when a slow-speed crash involves a pickup truck with occupants in the bed. The dummies in the back of the truck were weighted as children. They flew up as high as 30 feet into the air in the slow speed rear-end crash. Imagine if this was an actual crash with real children.
Police officers noted that they handle cases of occupants in the bed of the truck on a case-by-case basis. One citation that they might write has to do with the lack of seat belts. Still, drivers should remember that safety has to be a priority, even if it is legal to ride this way and seems fun.
All drivers in this state need to remain vigilant when they drive. Having children flying out of the truck due to a wreck that could have been prevented would be horrific. In some cases, parents of injured children might opt to pursue claims for compensation. In these circumstances, there might be challenges, but cases can be reviewed individually to determine the possible options.