Is It Legal to Ride in the Bed of a Pickup Truck in Florida?
When it comes to the laws about who is able to legally ride in the bed of a pickup truck, there’s one major distinction to consider: are you an adult or a minor? In the state of Florida, adults are allowed to ride in the bed of a truck essentially without limitation. However, minors can only ride in a truck bed on local roads, and not on highways or major roads. Additionally, no matter how old you are, you must remain seated at all times while situated in the bed of a truck. On top of that, minors need to be restrained in some way with a seat belt or something along those same lines. All in all, Florida has pretty relaxed laws in place when it comes to allowing passengers to sit in the back of the truck, setting it apart from other states such as New York or California, where it remains illegal.
Knowing the Risks: Accidents and Injury Potential
Despite the law, just because it is legal to ride in truck beds in Florida, that does not make it a great idea. No matter how old you are, should you find yourself in a car accident, riding in the bed of a pickup truck can cause great personal injury or even death. From Florida’s panhandle to west Florida down to the Florida keys, it’s not an uncommon sight to see people riding in the bed of a pickup, but we urge you to save this for slow-moving local trips only. Truck accidents are not uncommon, and we don’t want anybody to get hurt when they would’ve been safer inside the vehicle. However, at the end of the day, it’s up to each individual to assess their own safety and make their own decisions. Just remain aware that the bed of a truck is far from the safest place to be while moving, whether you’re in Florida or anywhere else across the country.
In the state of Florida, you are required to wear seat belts by law except under very specific circumstances. Individuals over the age of 18 do not have to wear a seat belt in the backseat. Apart from that caveat, seat belts are required whether you’re in a truck, a car, or an SUV. It is legal for police to ticket you for not wearing a seat belt, because Florida is what’s called a “Primary Seat Belt Law” state. In states without the “Primary Seat Belt Law,” drivers have to be pulled over for another offense in order to be ticketed for not wearing a seat belt, but that is not the case in Florida and many other states. That’s why it’s so important to ensure your truck is equipped with proper working seat belts, even in the back of the truck. When you’re out on the road riding in a vehicle, always make sure to buckle up for safety and to avoid a ticket!
Modifying Your Truck to Ride Safely
If you’re adamant about riding in the back of a truck, there are ways to keep it properly set up for your safety. You can install small benches in the back with safety belts, padding on the floor for comfort, and handlebars for riders to hold onto. While these upgrades can be costly, and hard to pull off on your own, there are plenty of professionals out there who can help. That includes us here at Ultimate Rides. We have a huge inventory of custom vehicles, with our own service center on-site. Our staff of expert technicians can install any upgrades you dream up, no matter what kind of vehicle you drive. That includes a flatbed truck, lifted trucks, SUVs, retro pickup trucks, and so much more. Get in touch with us if you’re interested in buying a new custom vehicle or having us upgrade your existing ride, and we can even deliver to Florida.
Highway vs. Off-Road Driving
As we pointed out earlier, the only place you really want to have passengers in the back, if at all, is on local streets. If you plan to spend a lot of time on the highway or in off-road situations, everyone should be firmly strapped in inside the truck. However, whichever focus you want to have for your truck, you can count on Ultimate Rides to help. We’ll get your vehicle set up with some high-quality highway tires, as well as interior features that can help make you and your passengers more comfortable. On the flipside, if you plan on tackling the wilds of Florida, we have off-road tires, suspension lifts, and other accessories that can make the process easier for you. Just let us know how we we can help, and we’ll be happy to deliver the truck of your dreams!
Safety Tips for Your Truck
Along with keeping people out of the back and fully buckled in, there are some additional safety tips to keep in mind as you drive around. Follow the rules of the road wherever you go, including speed limits. Additionally, if you drive a lifted vehicle, make sure to take extra care when making turns. Because your center of gravity is higher, taking a turn at too high of a speed increases the risk of tipping over. Above all else, stay aware of your surroundings and what the people on the road around you are doing. That is the number one way to avoid any kind of auto accident.