BOISE and NAMPA, Idaho. Halloween is just around the corner. With the changing leaves, the nice cool weather, and with haunted houses and corn mazes, more people may be riding in the back of pickup trucks in October. Yet, is the practice safe? Is it legal? And what can you do to protect yourself? If you have been hurt, get medical attention immediately, and protect your rights by contacting the car accident attorneys at the Law Office of Johnson & Lundgreen.

Young friends sitting in a pickup truck

Riding in the back of a pickup truck is restricted in 30 states. According to ABC 6 News, in Idaho, as long as you are not a child under the age of 7, it is entirely legal to ride in the back of a pickup truck. Yet, a recent accident in Idaho has two of the women involved imploring others to avoid riding in the back of pickup trucks. Idaho State Patrol agrees. Riding in the back of pickup trucks is unsafe and puts passengers at greater risk of being injured in a truck accident. Even if the driver of the truck is acting in a safe manner, other drivers can collide with the truck, ejecting passengers.

The back of pickups don’t have seat belts. Furthermore, individuals have no protection of the truck’s chassis if the truck were to roll over, or speed under a low-lying branch or other obstacle. Another hazard individuals may not consider, according to Allstate, is carbon monoxide. Because pickup trucks are open and the bed of the truck is located near the vent, children and adults can be at risk of being exposed to carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide is a colorless odorless gas. Individuals who are exposed can die.

Pets should also be considered. Many people transport their pets in the flatbed of their trucks, but pets are also at risk of being ejected or hurt. The truck doesn’t even need to be involved in an accident for an animal to get hurt. A small bump can toss an animal over. This can put other drivers at risk—not to mention your pet.

When individuals are ejected from the back of trucks, head injuries are highly common. Traumatic brain injuries are incredibly serious as they can affect everything from a person’s mobility, speech, thought, sleep, and mood. In a recent study of children who were ejected from flatbed trucks, some of the children who suffered injuries were ejected even when the truck was not involved in an accident. A small bump, a sharp turn, or sudden stop can lead to injuries.

If you or a loved one has been injured after riding in the flatbed of a truck, it is important to understand that the laws regarding personal injury may be more complex. While it is legal to ride in the back of a flatbed truck, personal responsibility for the risk also needs to be considered in a car accident case. A personal injury lawyer, like the attorneys at the Law Office of Johnson & Lundgreen may be able to help you.