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

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

The cab of a pickup truck, where seats and seatbelts are available to passengers is the safest place to ride in a truck. Tennessee Traffic Safety Resource Services says that every year more than 200 people die as a result of riding in pickup truck beds, and they say that children and teens account for more than half of those deaths annually.

What Makes Riding in a Truck Bed Dangerous?

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.

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The cargo area of a pickup truck, with or without a canopy, has proven to be a source of injuries and death to children and adults. In addition to the possibility of being ejected, passengers riding in covered cargo beds are exposed to carbon monoxide from exhaust fumes. Ejection from the cargo area during a collision was the major cause of injury and death for pickup truck passengers.

Is It Illegal to Ride in the Bed of a Truck in Tennessee?

In certain situations, it is illegal under Tennessee law. It is against the law for children under six years old to ride in the bed of a pickup truck, regardless of the location of the road being traveled. It is also against the law to ride in the bed of a pickup truck with a one-ton rating like a Ford F-350 Super Duty, Chevrolet 3500-series, or equivalent.

When and Where Is It Legal to Ride in the Bed of a Truck in Tennesse?

While it may not be safe to ride in the bed of a truck, there are some instances when it is legal in Tennessee. First, the truck must carry either a half-ton or three-quarter-ton rating like a Ford F-150, Ford F-250 Super Duty, Chevrolet 1500-series, Chevrolet 2500-series, or equivalent.

attachment-Riding In Tennessee Truck Beds Is It Legal


Age Restrictions for Riding in the Bed of a Truck in Tennessee

Children ages six to twelve are permitted to ride in the bed of a truck being operated on municipal streets or county roads. For those twelve and older, it is perfectly legal to ride in the bed of a truck on any roadway including state highways and even interstates.

Davidson County, Tennessee Has Its Own Law on Riding in Truck Beds

For those who live or travel through Davidson County, Tennessee, Metro Code 12.68.140 adds that any person riding in a truck bed must keep all parts of their body within the bed of the truck - no arms or legs hanging over the sides of the truck bed, according to Grover Collins of Collins Legal in Nashville.


LOOK: Here are the 25 best places to live in Tennessee

Stacker compiled a list of the best places to live in Tennessee using data from Niche. Niche ranks places to live based on a variety of factors including cost of living, schools, health care, recreation, and weather. Cities, suburbs, and towns were included. Listings and images are from

On the list, there's a robust mix of offerings from great schools and nightlife to high walkability and public parks. Some areas have enjoyed rapid growth thanks to new businesses moving to the area, while others offer glimpses into area history with well-preserved architecture and museums. Keep reading to see if your hometown made the list.


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