Family Pushes for Ban on the “Carolina Squat” After Fatal Virginia Wreck
The “Carolina Squat” is the name given to a popular modification when trucks are lifted so that their front axles are much higher than their rear axles. The practice has become increasingly controversial in recent years. Now the family and friends of a Virginia man who died in a vehicle crash are calling for the “Carolina Squat” to be banned.
A 27-year-old father died in a crash while on the way to work in Mecklenburg County on Feb. 16, ABC 8 reported.
The victim’s friends and family claim the “Carolina Squat” may have been a factor in the fatal wreck because the culpable driver may not have seen him.
About the Fatal Collision
Jody “BJ” Upton Jr. was killed on Skipwith Road when a modified Chevy Silverado pickup crossed a center line and hit his pickup. The car that crossed the line was modified to feature the “Carolina squat,” according to news reports. The victim’s loved ones claimed the modification could have caused the at-fault driver to fail to see over the brow of a hill seconds before the impact, leading the driver to cross the center line. A 19-year-old driver was charged with reckless driving after Upton’s death.
Ann Taylor Kallam, Upton Jr.’s future sister-in-law, said his pickup was destroyed by the impact of the morning crash. Upton Jr.’s family, and his girlfriend, Nikki Allman, called for the “Carolina squat” to be banned, saying it could have been part of the reason why the deadly crash happened.
Petition Against the Vehicle Modification
Allman’s petition to ban the trend that’s illegal in only one state is backed by thousands of signatures. North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper recently banned the modification.
The legislation in the Tar Heel state prohibits drivers from altering the frame, suspension, or chassis or the height of the front fender to be four or more inches greater than the height of the rear fender.
According to Hotcars.com, the “Carolina Squat” did not begin in the Carolinas. The site traces the trend to California. The article warned the “Carolina Squat” is very impractical as well as being very dangerous.
“A lot of issues, problems, setbacks, and liabilities arise when squatting a truck. Not only does it change the look, but it also changes the function and handling of the vehicle. Just look to the petition on Change.org,” the article states.
People who modify or “squat” their trucks lose the ability to tow a load because the tail end is already on the ground. If the front end of the truck is higher than the rear end, the headlights will point towards the sky and the driver will not be able to see the road ahead at night. The website said the angle compromises the driver’s view of the road ahead.
“A perfectly standard truck safe to drive on the open road has now become a liability to the driver and a danger to others once squatted. Even the best performance trucks on the market seem to be victims of this trend,” the article stated.
Despite the concerns about the “Carolina squat” the trend is spreading on social media, according to reports. Drivers who modify their cars in this way could be sued if the “Carolina squat” causes accidents as could mechanics or truck workshops.
Contact a Lawyer for Help With Your Case
Drivers and passengers face enough dangers on the highways of Virginia without having to contend with dangerous and deadly modifications. If you or a family member has been hurt an accident caused by a dangerous modification or a defect, please contact our Virginia automobile accident team at (757) 333-3333.