Is the Carolina Squat Still Legal?
Carolina Squat is Legal in 48 States
Squatted trucks are a controversial trend. Some drivers love them, excited about the look and off-road possibilities they offer. Others would rather them stay off the road completely, or don’t know what the Carolina Squat is. If you’re a Carolina Squat driver worried about the legal status of their ride, know that the vast majority of states have not taken any action to outlaw this setup.
Every state in the country has certain rules and regulations for vehicle size, and they can range quite a bit from place to place. For instance, some states place a limit on how high your front and rear bumpers can be off the ground, while other states have no rules or limits at all. The states that have put rules in place to limit the Carolina Squat do so by also limiting how low your bumper may be to the ground. Thankfully, this is still quite rare, and you’ll be able to drive freely across the bulk of our great country without worry. There are several reasons to consider squatting your truck, so it’s worth knowing where it’s legal to do so.
Where is the Carolina Squat No Longer Legal?
As of this writing, there are two states that have outlawed the Carolina Squat configuration, with one more state potentially introducing some limits in the near future. The two states that have already passed legislation on this matter are North Carolina and Virginia. As you may be able to guess, the third state that is considering a ban is South Carolina. This is no doubt due to the strong popularity of the Carolina Squat in this region. As you can probably tell from the name, the setup rose in popularity right there in those very states. With more squatted truck drivers out on the road, they become more visible to the local legislature.
It is still possible to make small alterations to your vehicle in these states that fit within their regulations. In North Carolina, you can lower you front end no more than 3 inches from regulation, and the rear no more than 2 inches. The Virginia law is a little less strict. It states that the rear bumper of the vehicle must be within 4 inches the height of the front bumper, meaning you still may be able to accomplish a subtle squat and stay within the law.
So far, it’s unclear what the wording will be of the law in South Carolina, if it comes to pass at all. All we can do is keep up-to-date on the latest changes brought forth by state legislatures around the country.
Why Are Some States Banning the Carolina Squat?
When altered to an extreme degree, the Carolina Squat setup can cause some issues with visibility on the road. Think about the angle you’ll be sitting at. With the rear end of your truck lowered, you’ll be tilted slightly backwards, with your vision facing more towards the sky than the road. While this usually won’t have an effect on your safety, there are certain circumstances when it can come into play. If you decide to drive with a Carolina Squat, it’s up to you to stay even more aware of your surroundings, especially if you have a strong tilt towards the back end.
Another problem caused by squatting your truck is tilting the headlights. If you lower the rear or only raise the front end, your headlights will likely stop pointing downward at the road and instead point upward, potentially blinding oncoming traffic. There are ways to solve this, which we encourage everyone who drives a squatted truck or SUV to do. Simply adjust your headlights to tilt them back down towards the road and out of the eyes of other drivers.
How to Get Your Truck Back Into Regulation
If you live in one of the states affected, it’s important to get your vehicle to fall into the laws. To do this, you may have to adjust your lift/leveling kit. Find out what the specific regulations are for your state, and from there you must decide if you want to handle the job yourself or bring it to the professionals. You have the chance to bring your truck/SUV to a level height, or keep the squatted look but bring it within the bounds of the law. Either way, we encourage you to opt for professional installation unless you’re confident in your abilities as a mechanic.
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