Is It Legal to Ride in the Bed of a Truck in Mississippi?
Is it legal to ride in the bed of a truck in Mississippi? No, except for very limited circumstances. Is it ever safe to ride in the bed of a truck anywhere? Again, no, except for some rare situations. To stay safe and out of legal trouble, you should avoid riding in the bed of a truck whenever possible.
When Is It Legal to Ride in the Bed of a Truck?
In 2017, Mississippi passed a law that requires anyone in a moving vehicle to wear a seatbelt. This law brings the state up to speed with most other states in the country. It also means that riding in a truck bed in Mississippi is unlawful in most cases. The only exception would be if you were in an approved safety seat installed in the back of a truck with a seatbelt attachment. Because most people don’t have these seats and many are not actually U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) safety approved, the odds of you legally riding in the back of a truck are slim to none.
There can also be exceptions made for commercial, industrial, and agricultural purposes. You might be permitted to sit in the back of a truck transporting grains to a silo, for example, as long as that truck stayed under a certain speed limit and followed a road with no outside traffic. Still, such exceptions are rare and will vary from worksite to worksite, so you will want to check with your employer if there are rules about riding in a truck bed while on-the-clock.
Why is Riding in a Truck Bed a Bad Idea?
If you’re in a moving vehicle without a seatbelt on and Mississippi Highway Patrol pulls you over, then you – and possibly the driver – can be fined $25 on a first offense. But paying fines and risking your driver’s license are only the start of why riding in a truck bed is a bad idea.
The simple truth is that riding in a truck bed is extremely dangerous compared to riding inside a vehicle while buckled up. You are provided zero protection in an accident if you are in the truck bed at the time of the collision. Seatbelts are also the only things that stop you from “staying in motion” when the truck stops abruptly in a collision. Without a seatbelt, you will be ejected from the vehicle, which will likely cause you to suffer catastrophic injuries like brain injuries and spinal cord damage.
Essentially, the only safe time to be in the bed of a truck is when it is not in motion and parked somewhere far from traffic. For example, you can hang out in the back of your truck for a tailgate party in your driveway or a parking lot. But as soon as it is time to get the truck moving again, it is time to get out of the truck bed.
Were you hurt in an auto accident while riding in a truck bed? Not sure how to proceed with your claim because you might be partially liable for your injuries due to sitting in the back without a seatbelt? Call (601) 265-6869 and connect with our personal injury attorneys of ‘Maggio | Thompson, LLP. From our office in Jackson, we help clients throughout the state figure out their legal rights, file claims, and pursue fair compensation. See how we can help you by scheduling a free consultation now.