Can you legally ride in the bed of a pickup truck in Indiana?

Pickup Popularity

The National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA) says that nearly one in five vehicles on the road in America are pickup trucks and that they account for approximately 40 million registered vehicles in the country.

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Indiana Passenger Restraint Laws

The cab of a pickup truck, where seats and seatbelts are available to passengers is the safest place to ride in a truck. Indiana is a "Click It or Ticket" state, meaning that it is required by law that all passengers of a vehicle be retrained with a safety belt, and failure to do so can result in a ticket and fines.

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Indiana Law for Children in Vehicles

For children, there are additional laws to keep them safe. According to Indiana law, children 12 and under are required to ride in the back seat if there is one in the vehicle. For children ages 8 and under the law requires the use of a child safety seat or booster seat.

Is It Legal to Ride in the Bed of a Pickup Truck in Indiana?

While Indiana does have passenger restraint laws in place, the Hoosier State is one of several where there are currently no laws regarding riding as a passenger in the bed of a pickup truck, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). However, while it may not technically be against the law in Indiana to ride in the bed of a pickup truck, it is not the safest option.

attachment-Indiana Truck Bed Passenger Law

What Makes Riding in a Truck Bed Dangerous?

Cargo areas of pickup trucks are not designed to carry passengers. There are no seats and no seatbelts. NHTSA says that those who ride in the bed of pickup trucks are "taking a substantial risk." Ejection from the vehicle during a crash is the biggest risk of riding in the bed of a truck. (Watch a crash test in the video below) However, for those riding in a truck with a cargo cover or camper shell, there is also the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning from the truck's exhaust.

<p>Most deaths and injuries attributed to pickup truck crashes are a result of passengers being thrown out of the cargo area during a rollover. A person riding in the cargo area of a truck is 26 times more likely to be ejected than a person riding in the cab. Compared with properly buckled cab occupants, the risk of death for those in the cargo area is eight times higher. - NHTSA</p><p> </p>

[Source:; NHTSA]

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LOOK: Counties with the highest unemployment in Indiana

Stacker compiled a list of the counties with the highest unemployment in Indiana using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Counties are ranked by unemployment rate in November 2023.

Gallery Credit: Stacker