1996-02-01

Riding in the Bed of a Pickup Truck - A Known Hazard 960440

Accident data from the Fatal Accident Reporting System show that over 300 people each year are killed or injured while riding in the bed of a pickup truck. The number of individuals involved varies from year to year with no discernable trend. The number of people involved has lead to requests for the application of additional warnings to the bodies of pickup trucks, beyond those already found in the owner's manuals advising against the use of the bed of the truck to carry passengers. The question addressed in this study is whether the occupants of the bed of a pickup truck are aware of the risk of increased injury if the truck is involved in an accident while they occupy the bed and as a result whether they require additional information in the form of warnings.
Four separate studies were performed involving two states with widely different geographical features and ethnic composition as well as a national study to evaluate the knowledge of the public regarding the potential for injury of the occupants of the bed of a pickup truck if it is involved in a collision. The results, as shown in the data presented in this paper, indicate that Americans believe that riding in the bed of a pickup truck is hazardous when compared against a series of standard circumstances or actions of known danger.
The data clearly indicate that there are no significant regional differences in public perceptions of the potential for injury that is assumed when riding in the bed of a pickup truck and that there is no reason to add another warning to those already available to the users of pickup trucks.

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