Is Riding Doorless with Kids in The Jeep Legal?

Riding in a Jeep without the doors or the top is one of the special things about owning these vehicles. Without the doors or top, you feel less cooped up. Doorless riding makes you feel free. Doorless riding with children can make you feel uncomfortable or afraid. These fears are natural, but your children can safely ride with you without doors. However, riding without your doors while kids are in the Jeep is legal.

Is It Legal to Ride With The Doors Off?

Riding in a Jeep with the doors removed is perfectly legal, except some states require you to have the side mirrors in place. In 21 states you can remove your doors but MUST have the side mirrors in place.

Most of the states that require you to have a side mirror require only one side mirror to be in place. However, in California, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Washington, Colorado, Oklahoma, and Arizona you are required to have the side mirrors on both sides of the vehicle in place.

To make sure you are in compliance with state laws and regulations you can check with the state department of safety concerning mirror laws. This should provide you with all of the information you need.

Related Article>> Is It Illegal to Drive A Jeep Without Doors

The real downside to the mirror requirements is you have to purchase side mirrors that can be installed without the door in place. These additional mirrors can be installed on the door hinges, on the windshield pillar, or on the tube door. Each style of the mirror comes with pros and cons.

Child Driving a Doorless Jeep

Mirror Placement Pros and Cons

On the Tube Door

Pros:

  • These mirrors give you the greatest amount of visibility to the side and rear of the vehicle.
  • You can install them as a permanent mirror. This makes removing doors easier and faster.
  • You can use the factory mirrors.

Cons:

  • You have to have tube doors installed on the vehicle.

On the Windshield Pillar

Pros:

  • Easy to install.
  • Good visibility was provided.
  • Stable and secure.

Cons:

  • They can be expensive to purchase and they require a semi-permanent base to be installed.

On the Hinges of the Door

Pros:

  • Least expensive alternative.
  • They are quick to install and remove.
  • They are readily available at most auto-part retailers.

Cons:

  • They do not provide good visibility.

As for the age of passengers, there are no specific laws prohibiting you from driving without doors while a child is in the car. You should, however, consider the child, the age of the child, and do everything you can to make sure they are safe.

Safety Measures You Can Take:

  1. Remove the front doors and leave the rear doors in place.
  2. If you have a middle seat belt in the rear seat wrap that belt around the child like a safety harness.
  3. Place infant safety in the middle of the rear seat instead of beside a door.

Possible Dangers of Kids Riding in Doorless Jeep

When you take the doors off of the Jeep you increase the noise level in the rear seating area. With this noise increase, the passenger in the rear seat can have a very unpleasant ride.

Besides being unpleasant due to noise riding in the rear seat with the doors off means more wind is funneled into the rear seats. With the extra wind, you are also going to have increased foreign matter blowing into this area. The foreign matter may only be tiny grains of sand or particles of dust and pollen too small for the human eye to easily see, but those small pieces can often be felt.

How to Make Kids More Comfortable While Riding Doorless

There are precautions you can take to help reduce the noise and wind effects on the children in the vehicle.

  1. Buy noise-canceling earphones for them to wear when the noise levels are too high for them.
  2. Keep the speed of the vehicle to 30 mph or less while driving with the doors off.
  3. Do not drive long distances with the doors off. Instead, take the doors off when you are going to be riding on the beach, through the hunting club, or within proximity to your home.
  4. Consider using a lightweight cover for the child to reduce wind and particulate discomforts.

Worried about where you are going to put your jeep door after removing it? Here is our best jeep door hangers review for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Old Do You Have to Be to Ride in a Jeep Without Doors?

There is not a specific age limit. Most people do not let kids under the age of 3 ride without the rear doors in place.

Is The Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Safe for Children?

The Jeep Wrangler Unlimited is very safe for children to ride in. Normal precautions like making sure the child does not have anything they can throw out of the vehicle should be taken for children under the age of 12.

Are Children Safe When The Doors Are Off of The Jeep?

If the child is wearing the proper restraints, (seat belts) then they should be perfectly safe.

Final Thoughts

Nine times out of ten you purchased a Jeep because you are adventurous by nature. You also want your children to experience the adventure and freedom that doorless travel can provide. If you take the right precautions you can ride without the doors, feel the wind in your hair, and still keep your young passengers safe.

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