University of Utah – Vehicle Operation
Reminder to university employees operating university vehicles: Operators and all passengers must wear seat belts while in an operating vehicle. It is never acceptable to transport passengers in the back (or bed) of a pickup truck or similar vehicle. The reason why is safety.
Research conducted by the University of New Mexico on injuries sustained during falls from the beds of pickup trucks indicates the head was the most frequently injured body region, followed by the extremities, the face, the thorax and the abdomen. A third of the deaths not involving collisions are caused by passengers standing up, sitting on the tailgate, changing positions, engaged in horseplay. The American Academy of Pediatrics reports that some deaths involving passengers in pickup beds come when passengers simply fall as the truck swerves, brakes or is bouncing along on rough roads (not unlike encountering a curb).