If you love to ride, then you probably want to include your family in the experience. Many families ride together. When you have young children, it’s a bit more challenging. You have to determine the safest and smartest way to ride with them and still stay within the law.
Every state is different in terms of what they require. A lot of motorcyclists prefer to have their child ride in front of them, but the truth is this may not always be a legal option or a great choice. Before you take the kids out for a ride, be sure that you know and understand the motorcycle laws in your area to find the safest ways to ride.
If you or a loved one is injured in a motorcycle accident in New Orleans, you may need to seek the guidance of a motorcycle accident attorney. Read on to learn more.
Understanding the Motorcycle Laws in Louisiana
So what exactly does the law say about riding a motorcycle with a child? When you have any type of passenger, including little ones, there are several state laws that offer guidance and regulations for your rides. One specific law to take note of is RS: 191.
This law points out multiple factors. The first is that a child must be at least five years of age or over and they must ride properly seated wearing a safety helmet. Other requirements listed in this statute include:
- Any person on the motorcycle may only use the permanent attached seat for riding.
- A motorcycle cannot carry more than one person unless it has more than one seat and is designed for dual passengers.
- Riders must face forward and have no more than one leg on each side of the motorcycle.
- Both hands must be able to remain on the handlebars, and carrying any type of bundle or package that prevents this is not allowed.
- No child or individual should ride in a position that has the potential to interfere with control or operation of the motorcycle. They also cannot impede your view.
Statute RS 32:190 provides even more guidance for children in general. This statute states that children must be properly seated and wearing a helmet. And the helmet must include chin strap, lining, visor, and padding. It must be a full motorcycle helmet.
Tips to Follow when Riding a Motorcycle with Children
There is nothing that says you can’t take your children for a ride in New Orleans and throughout Louisiana. As long as the child is over 5 years old and you follow these guidelines, you will be fine. However, if you fail to follow the guidelines, you may run into trouble.
Take a look at these top tips to keep you and your child safe when you go for a ride:
- Train your child how important a proper helmet is and ensure they wear it. Teach them about appropriate riding clothing and shoes as well.
- Take the time to teach your children how and where to sit, the value of holding on, and the importance of staying seated at all times.
- Show your child where they should hold on and remind them they should hold on for the entire ride.
- Educate children on the footrests and that their feet need to be on them.
- Teach your child about holding still to the best of their ability and to avoid moving a lot to maintain the bike’s balance while you’re riding.
- Let your child know how important it is that you are able to stay focused on the ride. They shouldn’t be distracting you.
- Teach a child how to safely get on and off a motorcycle.
- Be an example of proper riding, safety rules, style, and techniques.
- A child will learn from experience and your teaching. Prepare them for things like speed or directional changes, sudden movements, and how they should react to each of these.
- Show the child the importance of paying attention and watching for any obstacles and hazards along your route.
- You should wear a helmet, too.
When Accidents Happen, You Are Not Alone
Sometimes accidents can happen even despite your best practices and efforts. The negligence of other drivers can certainly impact you and lead to accidents with major injuries. Make sure you are riding and following the proper guidelines with your child on board.
If you or your child are injured in an accident, find an experienced New Orleans motorcycle accident attorney to take your case. They will be able to help you navigate your options and seek compensation for your accident.