People who enjoy traveling on motorcycles sometimes want to share that enthusiasm with their kids. But while Indiana has no age restrictions for passengers, the risks should give you some pause. Having your child join you as a passenger on your motorcycle should not be a decision made on impulse.
A recent accident in Fort Wayne highlights these dangers. An adult and an 11-year-old child were taking a spin in a church parking lot, when the man allegedly lost control of the motorcycle they were on. Both of them were injured, with the man in critical condition and the child in fair condition.
News reports don’t provide details of how fast they were going when the motorcycle went out-of-control. However, they were in a parking lot and not on a road with heavy traffic or unexpected turns and twists. One thing worth noting, however, was that neither the adult driver nor the child passenger was wearing a helmet.
If you’re going to take your child out on a motorcycle, the following are some things to keep in mind:
- In Indiana, anyone under the age of 18 is required to wear a helmet when driving or riding a motorcycle. You should find a high-quality, well-fitted youth motorcycle helmet for your kid. Even when a helmet isn’t required, as it isn’t for adults, anyone on a motorbike should wear one anyway. Serious accidents can happen anywhere, even in parking lots and on driveways.
- People under 18 are also required to wear some protective gear for their eyes, such as protective goggles, glasses or a face shield that’s transparent. You should also look into getting other kinds of protective gear for your child’s legs, torso, and arms.
- You should only be transporting one passenger (of any age) at a time, and they should be riding on a securely attached seat made for passenger use. A passenger shouldn’t be seated in a way that interferes with the driver’s full control of the motorcycle. Also, keep in mind that smaller children might not be able to sit comfortably or even safely on the passenger seat you have on your bike; their legs might be too short to reach the passenger pegs. You want to maybe hold off until they’re older anyway.
Be sure to contact us if you or your child experience a motorcycle accident. As personal injury lawyers, we’ve seen the devastating aftermath of motorcycle accidents and will emphasize again the need for basic safety measures to reduce the risk of severe outcomes. We urge you to stay safe and use your best judgment when you consider taking your child out on a motorcycle.