Travel in the back of pickup trucks has not been adequately addressed as an occupant protection issue. This study compares injuries sustained by children riding in the back of pickup trucks with those of children riding in the cab. Data were obtained from a multihospital monitoring system and the coroner in a single urban county. The series of injured children consisted of 290 children 0 through 14 years of age, 201 of whom had been riding in the cab and 89 in the back. Age distribution of the children demonstrated that it is most frequently the 10- to 14-year-olds who travel in the back. Children riding in the back were more frequently injured in noncrash events (absence of a collision), had more ejections, had more injuries, and sustained more severe injuries as measured by the Maximum Injury Score. With increased restraint use in the cab, it is likely that even greater differentials in injury severity and patterns would be realized. Education regarding the hazards of travel in the back of pickups and stronger legislation limiting the transport of children in the back of trucks are recommended.
Agran PF, Winn DG, Castillo DN. Pediatric Injuries in the Back of Pickup Trucks. JAMA. 1990;264(6):712-716. doi:10.1001/jama.1990.03450060058029