Is Riding in the Back of a Pickup Truck Legal in Alabama?

Three women happily riding in the bed of a truck on a rural dirt road.

For some adults, riding in the back of a pickup truck bed brings back fond childhood memories. The feel of the road and the breeze in your hair can be thrilling, but is it legal to ride in the back of a pickup truck?  

Passengers in a truck bed could get severely injured in a car accident. For this reason, many states have made it illegal to ride in the truck bed or cargo area of a truck, even if it has a camper shell.  

Is Riding in a Truck Bed Illegal in Alabama?  

Some states outlaw riding in truck beds, and some do not. So, is riding in the back of a pickup truck legal in Alabama? According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), Alabama has no state law prohibiting riding in the open bed of a pickup or other truck.  

However, Alabama law does mandate that children under age 15 wear seat belts or be properly restrained in age- and weight-appropriate car seats or booster seats. Violations of the law can result in fines. Repeat violations can cause a driver to earn points on their license, which could lead to license suspension over time.  

Furthermore, if a collision occurs and a child suffers injuries while riding in a pickup truck bed, the truck driver may be financially liable.  

Dangers of Riding in the Back of a Truck 

Passengers in the back of a pickup truck do not have seat belts, airbags, or a steel body to protect them in a collision. Without any restraints or enclosures, riders could get thrown from the truck or through the truck’s rear window and suffer severe or catastrophic injuries, including:  

What Happens If a Crash Involves Passengers in a Pickup Bed?  

Alabama is an at-fault insurance state, meaning car accident victims can hold negligent drivers financially responsible for injuries and financial losses resulting from a collision. Crash victims can pursue compensation for their medical bills, lost wages, pain, suffering, and more. 

Alabama’s strict contributory negligence law bars injury victims from recovering compensation if they are in any way to blame for the accident. However, state law specifically holds that failing to wear a seat belt cannot be considered contributory negligence, which means accident victims who were not wearing a seat belt can still recover compensation from the at-fault parties.  

Our Lawyers Are Ready to Help People Hurt in Crashes  

Morris, King & Hodge, P.C., is a full-service personal injury law firm serving clients throughout Northern Alabama. If you, your child, or a loved one suffered injuries while riding in the back of a pickup truck, we can help you explore your options for pursuing the financial recovery you deserve.  

Reach out to our experienced car accident lawyers today for a free case review.

Since 1966, our lawyers have been standing up for injured victims and taking cases to court in North Alabama and all across the state. If you’re hurt in an accident, you want to be sure that you have the most qualified injury & accident lawyers representing you with a proven track record representing injured victims in the courts.