Brian White | May 4, 2021 | Texas Laws
Riding a motorcycle is thrilling. For a child, riding a motorcycle may be one of the most exciting privileges they experience. However, several Texas laws restrict minors from riding a motorcycle.
Riders need to be aware of the Texas laws for minors as passengers on motorcycles. If you break these laws, you could face fines and jail time.
Age Restrictions for Riding on the Back of a Motorcycle in Texas
According to Texas law, a child must be at least five years of age to ride as a passenger on a motorcycle. Also, several other laws apply to children riding as passengers on a motorcycle.
Texas motorcycle helmet laws state that all passengers under the age of 21 years must wear a motorcycle helmet. The motorcycle helmet must meet all federal requirements.
It is not safe to use an adult motorcycle helmet for a child. A child riding a motorcycle needs to have a helmet that fits properly to provide maximum protection from injuries during a motorcycle crash.
According to Malorie’s Law, a motorcycle carrying two people must be equipped with handholds and a footrest for the motorcycle passenger. Additionally, the motorcycle must be equipped with a permanent passenger seat or another seat firmly attached to the motorcycle behind or to the operator’s side. Placing a child in front of a rider is prohibited.
Things to Consider Regarding Children and Motorcycles
Even if a child is over five years of age, there are several things to consider before taking a child for a motorcycle ride. The first thing to consider is whether the child can reach the footrests. If not, the child may not be able to steady themselves during sharp turns.
Also, does the child understand the importance of grasping the handholds, especially during turns? Is the child strong enough to brace themselves and hold onto the handholds during sharp maneuvers?
You may also want to purchase child protective clothing and safety gear for your child’s ride. Boots, gloves, protective clothing, and protective eyewear can reduce the risk of motorcycle injuries for children.
You may consider purchasing a motorcycle safety belt that harnesses the child to the rider. The safety belt can add stability for the child and protect the child if they fall asleep during a long ride.
Whenever a child is a passenger on a motorcycle, the rider should discuss several safety issues with the child before riding. Teaching a child how to hold onto the handholds and what to do during a ride is essential. Consider practicing on quiet streets before taking a young child into areas with heavy traffic and higher speed limits.
Motorcycle Accidents Involving Children
There is always a risk that you and your child might be injured when riding your motorcycle.
Injuries that your child might sustain in a motorcycle crash include:
- Lacerations and abrasions (road rash)
- Head and brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Broken bones
- Injuries to internal organs
- Neck and back injuries
Your child has the right to recover compensation for injuries and damages caused by a motorcycle accident. If another party caused the crash, your child might have a legal claim against the other driver. However, if you caused the accident, the claim would be against your insurance provider.
Motorcycle accidents involving children can be complicated. Insurance companies often dispute claims because childhood injuries can result in substantial future damages. It is best to consult with a motorcycle accident lawyer as soon as possible about a motorcycle accident claim for a minor passenger.
What Should You Do After a Motorcycle Accident with a Child?
It may be difficult, but try to remain calm. You need to care for your child’s physical injuries and emotional wellbeing. Your child may be frightened and in physical pain. Call 911 to report the crash and request emergency medical services.
Stay with your child and focus on your child’s needs. Try not to show anger toward the person who caused the accident, as that could upset your child further. If possible, ask someone to take pictures of the accident scene and then get their name and contact information. If there are other witnesses, ask them for their names and contact information.
Contact a motorcycle accident lawyer for advice as soon as possible. Prompt medical care improves your child’s chance of making a full recovery. It also documents your child’s injuries for a personal injury claim.
Do not post pictures or discuss the motorcycle crash on social media. Posting information online after an accident can hurt your case. Avoid discussing the accident with anyone until you speak with a lawyer, including making statements to the insurance company. The sooner you meet with a lawyer, the better you can protect your child’s best interests and legal rights.