For many motorcyclists, carrying a motorcycle passenger is a normal thing. However, there is more to carrying a motorcycle passenger than just having someone on the back of your bike. There are legal implications and responsibilities expected of all motorcyclists when they’re carrying passengers.
Statistics from the US Department of Transportation indicate that in 2016, there were 5,286 motorcycle fatalities in the country. This statistic includes passengers if the rider involved was carrying a passenger on his motorcycle at the time of the crash.
That’s why it’s important for riders to understand the responsibilities when carrying motorcycle passengers. As a rider, it’s your duty to ensure that your passengers are taken care of to protect them from accidents and also to avoid getting into serious legal implications in case of an accident or incident.
Therefore, here are some of the legal implications and responsibilities you should be aware of when carrying a motorcycle passenger.
Wearing Safety Gear
The safety of a motorcycle passenger is of top priority. Just like you, as a rider, have to put on safety gear to protect yourself from any incident, you have a legal responsibility to ensure that your passenger has protective gear as well.
Motorcycles can be extremely dangerous in the event of an accident, given that both the rider and passenger are highly exposed. For that reason, it’s paramount for a motorcycle passenger to wear safety gear when riding on the back of a bike.
One piece of safety equipment that a motorbike passenger should have is a helmet. Therefore, it’s the responsibility of the rider to provide a helmet to passengers at all times.
In Missouri, riding a bike without a helmet is a serious violation of traffic law, thus riders have a legal responsibility to provide their passengers with a helmet at all times. If you’re found to be breaching this law, you’re subject to punishment according to the laws of the state.
In Illinois, motorcycle passengers should also have protective glasses to protect them from any material that might cause injury to their eyes. Hence, as a rider, you have to always ensure that your passenger has the necessary safety gear to offer the required protection when on the road.
Skillful riding is important when carrying a motorcycle passenger. Lack of adequate skill and experience contributes greatly to serious motorcycle accidents. You should always know that when you’re carrying a passenger, you have an extra responsibility to protect the life of that person.
Skillful riding requires you to adhere to traffic rules as well as considering different aspects of high-standard riding whenever you’re on the road. One of the skills that you need to have and practice is situational awareness.
With this skill, you’ll know how to ride in different situations. Also, you’ll make the right decisions when carrying your passenger. Moreover, it will be highly valuable to develop excellent cornering skills. This will provide your passenger with much-needed comfort and safety.
Therefore, it’s essential that you’re an experienced rider and have a safety attitude before choosing to carry a passenger on your bike. Undoubtedly, it’s your responsibility to ensure that you learn the necessary skills to enhance safety when carrying a motorcycle passenger.
Compensation In The Event Of An Accident
In the event of an accident, a motorcycle passenger should be compensated if you were at fault. You have the responsibility to take care of your passenger when in transit. If you neglect this responsibility and cause a motorcycle accident, you have to fully face the legal implications that ensue.
For example, the motorcycle passenger can decide to file legal claims against you. This will require you to pay for the injuries caused after the accident. This is where your liability insurance comes in.
Since it’s mandatory to have liability insurance, you’ll use your policy to compensate your passenger after an accident if you are the one at fault.
In order to avoid getting into such a scenario, it’s vital for you to ride your motorcycle carefully. Remember, you’re not the only one on the bike. Therefore, you have to be extra vigilant to protect yourself from the financial and legal implications that may arise.
Proper Knowledge Of Your Bike And Maintenance
Proper knowledge of your motorcycle and constant maintenance of the same is important. This will maintain both your safety and that of your passenger.
A motorcycle passenger does not understand your motorcycle as you do. Therefore, it’s your responsibility to make sure that all operational recommendations for your motorcycle are taken into account. This will ensure the safety of your passenger.
For example, you should know whether your motorcycle is designed to carry a passenger. If yes, you should be aware of its weight limitations. Moreover, it’s the responsibility of a rider to ensure that proper motorcycle maintenance is done before carrying a passenger.
Riding a motorcycle with some of its parts not functioning properly could potentially place the life of your passenger at risk. In the same vein, this could lead you into serious legal implications for endangering the life of your passenger.
For this reason, it’s significant that you bear in mind that you have a responsibility to know and maintain your bike regularly. This will avoid certain risks when carrying a motorcycle passenger.
Conclusion On The Responsibilities Of Carrying A Motorcycle Passenger
Extra care and vigilance are necessary when carrying a motorcycle passenger. All motorcyclists have a responsibility to ensure that they maintain high standards of safety. Not only for them, but also for their passengers.
Failure to adhere to the set rules and expected standards of safety could lead to legal implications that can be extremely costly for riders. Thus, make sure you follow all the expected standards of motorcycle safety when carrying a passenger to avoid unnecessary risks.