It is legal for someone to ride in the bed of a pickup truck in Virginia as of 2014 unless the individual is younger than 16, according to the Virginia General Assembly. Exceptions are made if the person under 16 is participating in a parade or working on a farm.
Federal laws stipulate that passenger areas of vehicles are designed to protect people during a wreck, notes the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. However, beds of pickup trucks are designed to carry cargo and do not provide protection in an accident. People are more likely to be thrown from a cargo area even at low speeds as compared to the possibility of being thrown from a vehicle passenger compartment. Laws in 30 states and the District of Columbia address the dangers of riding in cargo areas.