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Have you ever seen a truck whose rear end “squats” lower than the front? Custom vehicles with a lifted front end have become increasingly popular. But how did squatted trucks start trending? This modification, also known as the “Carolina squat,” didn’t begin in North or South Carolina. It originated in California before gaining traction on social media. Let’s explore how Instagram has shaped this craze and how “squatting” a vehicle can be unsafe.

How social media boosted the trend

Carolina squat, squatted trucks
A squatted truck at the 2006 San Felipe Baja 250 race in Mexico | Gene Blevins/Getty Images

Instagram is primarily responsible for squatted trucks’ rising popularity. 

“While there are some debates regarding the specifics,” reports, “most people agree the trend caught on after lots of people posted photos of their squatting trucks on Instagram.” 

In addition, the social media platform has made it easier for people to find parts, modify their vehicles, and admire others’ work. As a result, many states have seen an increase in modifications to vehicle suspensions and exhaust systems to achieve the Carolina squat. 

The dangers of squatted trucks 

It’s important to note the dangers of squatted trucks if the modifications are done improperly. For example, when a truck’s front end is lifted too much, its headlights point upward instead of forward, making visibility difficult at night. 

In addition, extreme squatting can make towing difficult or impossible. It can also make removing the vehicle from parking spots difficult and impair the driver’s view. 

Finally, excessive changes can damage the suspension and brakes due to increased strain while carrying extra weight or driving at high speeds over bumps or rough terrain.        

Which states have banned Carolina squat modifications?


The Origins of the ‘Carolina Squat’ Aren’t in North or South Carolina

North Carolina and Virginia have outlawed “squatting” modifications due to safety concerns. In December 2021, North Carolina was the first state to pass a law banning vehicles with extreme Carolina squat customizations from public highways.

“The North Carolina General Assembly law states that a private passenger automobile must not be modified/altered by elevating the automobile to more than three inches from the manufacturer’s specified height in the front,” reports. “Also, you cannot lower the automobile by more than two inches from the manufacturer’s specified height in the rear.”

Virginia followed suit in March 2022. Its law prohibits vehicles from operating on public highways if they have a front bumper four or more inches higher than the rear. 

South Carolina legislators have been trying to pass a similar ban since last year.

What are some alternatives to squatting your truck?

Given the risks, especially when done improperly, squatting your truck might not be the best idea. If you’re thinking about trying out this trend, proceed with caution. Ensuring that an experienced professional legally modifies your vehicle is essential for reducing potential risks associated with squatted trucks. Trends come and go, but safety should remain a top priority. 

Plus, there are plenty of safer ways to personalize your ride. Check out options like custom rims, mag wheels, mud flaps, lighted running boards, and eye-catching exterior paint.