South Carolina Has Banned the Notorious ‘Carolina Squat’ Truck Mod

Source: Facebook / Danilo DiRico

In a move that has been met with both support and backlash, South Carolina has officially banned the notorious ‘Carolina Squat’ truck modification. This trend, which involves lifting the front end of a vehicle while leaving the back half at its original height, has gained popularity across the United States, particularly in the South. However, concerns over safety and visibility have led to its prohibition in several states.

New Legislation in South Carolina Targets “Carolina Squat” Phenomenon After Fatal Accident in Myrtle Beach

South Carolina now joins North Carolina and Virginia in outlawing the Carolina Squat. The decision was prompted by a tragic incident in Myrtle Beach two years ago, where a pedestrian was struck and killed by a squatted truck.

Source: twitter / @carolina_squat_

The state’s House of Representatives unanimously voted to ban the modification, and Governor Henry McMaster signed the bill into law, which will take effect in November.

Porsche Ran Over

Recently this Porsche at a red light was ran over by a Carolina Squat Truck.

Source: Reddit

Clearly visibility is an issue when you are pointing towards the sky.

Strict Penalties to Curb “Carolina Squat” Trend

In South Carolina, under the new law, offenders will face fines of $100 for the first violation, $200 for the second, and $300 for the third.

Source: Myrtle Beach Cam via YouTube

Additionally, their license will be suspended for a year. The aim of these penalties is to encourage individuals to rectify the modification themselves once they become aware of its illegality.

Trend Persists Despite Legal Changes, Prompts Concerns About Safety and Popularity

However, there is no guarantee that this will be the case, as the trend continues to gain steam online. Recents quatted pickups and SUVs descended upon Myrtle Beach for an unofficial “Truck Week”. Despite dozens of drivers being apprehended for reckless driving and loitering, the modification itself was not yet illegal. Many of these vehicles proudly displayed South Carolina license plates, highlighting the popularity of the Carolina Squat in the state.

Source: Tiktok Brett_Michaels

The Carolina Squat has evolved into an entire subculture within the car community, often associated with wild antics and attention-seeking behavior. This, combined with the safety concerns surrounding limited forward visibility for drivers of these modified trucks, played a significant role in the decision to ban the modification.

Mixed Opinions 

Opinions on the ban are divided. Some individuals have voiced their support online, while others argue that hating on squatted trucks without making them illegal would have been sufficient.

Source: Governor’s office

Regardless, states are now being forced to take a stance on whether or not to allow these modifications on public roads. South Carolina may be the latest to join the fight against the Carolina Squat, but it is unlikely to be the last.

Definition of a ‘Carolina Squat’

The Carolina Squat is defined under state law as a height differential of at least four inches between a vehicle’s front and rear fenders.

Source: Facebook / Danilo DiRico

This definition aims to provide clarity and ensure consistent enforcement of the ban.

An Old Hobby

Adding modifications to cars in order to change them from their factory design or build is a practice that has existed as long as cars have been bought. Early cars known as “hot rods” were modified by removing the running boards and removing the fenders, in order to create a more sleek, straightforward design.

Source: Instagram/crazybabyj101

Car modifications continued to expand and change into the 50’s and 60’s, with many cars “hopped up” with engine modifications. Some cars had additional carburetors added, with some swapping out the engines altogether to improve performance and aesthetic.The suspension was another common modification, with many cars having the rear end lowered as much as possible using lowering blocks on the back springs.

Alterations for Aesthetic, as Well as Performance

While many alterations that were completed on cars were done in order to improve performance, whether that was making the car lighter or the engine more powerful, there were some modifications that were done exclusively to make the car more visually pleasing. Some of the different types of visual modifications included art cars, or hi-riser cars.

Source: Trekphiler, CC BY 3.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

Source: Wikimedia/Trekphiler

These visual modifications have continued on to modern times. Early Hot Rod styles are a common modification, as well as lowrider or highrider mods that use different suspension setups to change the look of the car. These cars typically come with different visual modifications such as custom paint as well, and there is one particular suspension modification that has drawn press attention recently.

A Slightly Misleading Name

Despite the name, the Carolina Squat modification actually originated in California. Baja racers used the suspension modification to absorb impacts of jumping their vehicles in races, and the trend went viral on social media. It’s also known as the California Lean mod, and both terms were searched a combined number of over 33,000 times in the United States alone in one month. 

Source: Instagram/autonaturale

It’s a common modification in large SUV’s and pickup trucks, but standard cars can also have the mod performed. While there’s a great deal of popularity regarding the modification for aesthetic purposes, J.D. Power has gone on the record to state that the changes result in poor vehicle performance and a reduction in road safety. It causes issues such as vehicle weight imbalance, poor braking, and inappropriate steering.

Bans Spreading Across the Country

While South Carolina is the most recent state to institute a formal ban against the “squat” modification, it is far from the only state to recognize the danger of these modifications. North Carolina was the first state to ban the modification in December of 2021 with a Senate vote on 33-1 in favor of the ban, and Virginia followed in 2022 after a man was killed in a crash involving a vehicle with the “squat” modification.

Source: WCNC

South Carolina is not the last state to have an opinion on the modification, either. A county in Florida is considering a ban on the modification on Volusia beaches, in order to improve safety on the beach. The Sheriff’s office recently took over law enforcement on the county beaches, prompting the proposed change in legislation.

Enthusiasts Defend Vehicle Customization as a Form of Self-Expression

On the other hand, supporters of the Carolina Squat argue that it is a part of street culture and self-expression. Some owners have invested significant amounts of money into their modified trucks, with expenses exceeding $15,000.

Source: Tik Tok @molesrcool

Social media platforms like TikTok have become popular outlets for showcasing these unique vehicles, with some owners amassing hundreds of thousands of followers. Despite the ban, many of these enthusiasts remain unfazed, confident that their social media presence will not be affected.

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Ben Miller

Written by Ben Miller

Ben is known for his talent in producing viral articles which resonate with current trends. With a keen eye for trending topics and a gift for crafting engaging narratives, Ben has become a prominent figure in the world of online content creation.

Ben's journey as a writer has been marked by a commitment to staying ahead of the curve, always seeking out fresh angles and innovative storytelling techniques. Whether it's dissecting pop culture phenomena, exploring social issues, or offering practical advice, his articles resonate with readers across the internet.

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