Keeping Your Motorcycle Passengers Safe on Texas Roads
According to the Texas Department of Public Safety, before September 1, 2009, there were no motorcycle passenger laws. In the 81st Texas legislative session, HB537 was passed requiring motorcycle passengers to be at least five years of age. Riders and passengers under age 21 are required to wear a DOT-approved motorcycle helmet. Operators and passengers age 21 and older are permitted to ride without wearing a helmet provided the motorcycle operator meets helmet exemption requirements.
The decision of whether or not to carry a child passenger age five or older on a motorcycle is ultimately one that parents or guardians have to make. The child must be mature enough to take on the responsibility. He or she must be tall enough to reach footrests, wear protective gear including a helmet, and hold on to you.
Passenger Safety Considerations
Texas motorcyclist injury attorney Ray King and the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) suggest that if you plan to transport a passenger on your bike, you take the following safety precautions:
- Before taking on a passenger, you, the operator, must be an experienced rider.
- The bike should not be new to you.
- Practice using the clutch and throttle at low speeds with your passenger on board.
- Allow the passenger time to become adjusted to leaning and to the sense of speed.
- Corner the bike with caution — keeping in mind the comfort and safety of your passenger. Instruct your passenger to look over your shoulder in the direction the bike will corner. Avoid extreme lean angles.
- Allow more time for passing and be prepared for the wind to have a greater effect on the bike.
Texas motorcycle attorney Ray King welcomes your comments regarding taking on children and adults as passengers.
If you are ever injured in a motorcycle accident that was due to another’s negligence, call the King Law Firm at (512) 514-6633 for a free case evaluation and allow our legal team to work to make sure you are fairly compensated.