South Carolina Lawmakers Make “Carolina Squat” Modifications Illegal
Recently, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper signed a bill prohibiting the popular modification commonly referred to as a “Carolina Squat.” The bill followed in the wake of an online petition signed by nearly 75,000 residents, asking lawmakers to take action.
The new law influenced South Carolinians to urge lawmakers to do the same. On Thursday, February 24, 2022, senators finally passed the bill with a 33 to 1 vote. Under the new law, vehicles lowered or raised more than six inches in front or back will be considered illegal.
Although vehicle owners may be unwilling to bring their vehicles under compliance, they can face significant consequences. Violating this new law is considered a misdemeanor. Charges for a first offense are $100, a second offense is $200, and a third offense is $300 with a year license suspension. Under the new law, if a driver commits more than one offense, it is important to note that the offenses must have occurred within 5 years of each other from the start date of the prior offense. Also, during the first 180 days of this bill, police officers will only give warning tickets.
What Is a Carolina Squat Truck?
Carolina Squat modifications are also referred to as a “California Lean” or “Tennessee Lean.” The modification trend was inspired by Baja Racing which was popular in Southern California. The modification is purely for aesthetic purposes and became so popular that vehicle manufacturers began creating their own “Squat kits.”
The Carolina Squat modification is when an owner lifts the front and lowers the back of their vehicle. The vehicle appears as if it is performing a squat, where the front of the car is suspended upwards, and the back of the car is close to the ground. Carolina Squat modifications are often made to large SUVs and pickup trucks, but they can be seen on regular cars too.
The modification is not beneficial, particularly on the safety front, because it causes issues such as having a vehicle weight imbalance, worn out tires, improper braking, and improper steering. Although these auto body enhancements are often performed on trucks, the new law states that pickup trucks are excluded from facing repercussions.
What Are the Dangers of the Carolina Squat Modification?
While proponents of Squat trucks enjoy the unique look, the modification raises severe concerns. For example, since the nose of a Carolina Squat truck is higher than the rear, drivers can have impaired vision and fail to see what is in front of them. This can cause motorists, pedestrians, and cyclists to be unseen and result in a serious accident.
If a Squat truck collides with the side of another vehicle, an upward force is applied to the side of the struck vehicle, making rollover accidents more likely to happen. Head-on collisions with Squat trucks are also more dangerous because the crashed vehicle will submerge underneath the truck, colliding with the low-reared portion of the vehicle’s base frame.
Any car crash that involves a South Carolina Squat truck is dangerous. Due to the design of a squat truck, the front of a truck can be elevated so high that it can hover over a car’s front windshield. A regular fender bender is out of the picture since a truck’s bumpers can be too high or low when colliding with another vehicle. A car crash with a Squat truck can result in serious injuries such as broken necks, backs, and legs.
Can Carolina Squat Truck Owners Be Held Responsible After an Accident?
Owners of Carolina Squat trucks are familiar with the dangers these modifications pose but continue to perform these risky enhancements. Unfortunately, the real threat is to other motorists rather than the drivers of these modified vehicles.
Under South Carolina personal injury law, owners of Squat trucks can be held liable for preventable accidents caused by these vehicle modifications. An experienced car accident attorney can help accident victims understand their rights and pursue them.
Have You Been Injured in a South Carolina Accident with a Carolina Squat Truck?
If you or a loved one was recently injured in a truck accident involving a Squat truck, you may be entitled to compensation. At the Steinberg Law Firm, our dedicated team of South Carolina motor vehicle accident attorneys has been representing injured motorists for almost a century.
We understand the South Carolina Motor Vehicle Codes and all relevant laws governing an owner’s obligations to ensure their vehicle is safe. With our help, you can effectively pursue a personal injury case. Let us help you gain compensation against the negligent motorist responsible for your injuries.