It is not safe to ride in a truck bed because it is not designed to provide occupant protection in the event of a crash, explains the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Truck beds are designed to carry cargo, and most states have restrictions on passengers riding in cargo areas.
Truck beds typically lack safety restraints for occupants, making this area of a truck especially dangerous for children under the age of 16, explains the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The lack of occupant safety restraints leaves occupants vulnerable to the effects of sudden acceleration or deceleration, sharp turns and unstable road conditions. These instances can cause injury or death as a result of colliding with objects or surface inside the truck bed, and there is an obvious risk of being ejected from the truck bed.
The specific restrictions on passengers riding in cargo areas vary between states and the District of Columbia, and these restrictions are noted in the AAA/CAA Digest of Motor Laws. In Louisiana, Massachusetts and Tennessee, restrictions on riding in the truck bed apply to children under the age of 12. There are only nine states that have restrictions on occupants of any age riding in cargo areas.