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Avoiding Passenger Injuries in a Tennessee Motorcycle Accident

Posted on in Personal Injury

Campbell County motorcycle accident injury attorney

In order to avoid injuries to passengers on a motorcycle, both the driver and the passenger must know the safety measures that should be taken. It is safest for passengers to ride in a sidecar next to a motorcycle, but for those who do not have a sidecar attached to their vehicle, passengers will need to ride directly behind the driver. A passenger means the motorcycle will have to carry extra weight, which will cause the vehicle to maneuver differently. It will take longer to accelerate, and both the driver and the passenger will need to lean into every turn to make sure the motorcycle can complete it properly. In Tennessee, passengers on a motorcycle -- and all operators -- must ride the bike with one leg on each side and feet in the footpegs, and they must always remain seated on the permanent seat attached to the bike. Tennessee law also states that child passengers whose feet do not reach the footpegs are prohibited from riding on the motorcycle. If this law is violated, the driver will face a Class C misdemeanor penalty.

What to Do to Avoid Injuries

Before beginning any ride, the driver of the motorcycle should check their tire pressure and suspension to be sure the cycle is in proper working order. They should also be sure their passenger is well-equipped with protective clothing (i.e. long pants, long-sleeved coat, sturdy shoes, helmet) and that their feet can reach the footpegs.

While on the bike, drivers should:

  • Always place both hands on the handlebars

  • Drive more slowly around curves and bumps

  • Brake at a further distance to allow extra time to slow down

  • Wait for a larger gap when lane changing to avoid a collision

A passenger should always face forward on the motorcycle and follow the driver’s instructions about when to lean to help the motorcycle around a turn. For further stability, a passenger should grasp the driver’s shoulders or his or her waist, as long as this contact does not hinder the driver from steering.

Additionally, both drivers and passengers should always wear crash helmets that meet federal safety standards. This vital piece of equipment is essential if a passenger is thrown from a motorcycle. It will protect from serious injuries, such as the following:

  • Skull fractures

  • Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)

  • Facial fractures

Who Is to Blame for Passenger Injuries?

Since Tennessee is an “at fault” state, whenever a collision on the road occurs, responsibility for damages and injuries will be placed on whoever is most to blame for the accident. That person will be responsible for paying compensation. This could be the person driving the motorcycle or another driver in the event of a crash with a vehicle. 

Passengers who are injured on a motorcycle can choose to file a lawsuit against the motorcyclist if they believe the cyclist was being negligent while operating the cycle. The most common case of negligence that can lead to a passenger suing a driver is if the driver operated the motorcycle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Contact a Jacksboro, TN Personal Injury Attorney

It can be a difficult process to obtain compensation for injuries sustained after a motorcycle accident. If you were hurt while riding as a passenger on a motorcycle, you should discuss your case with an attorney. The Law Office of William F. Evans is ready to defend any victim seeking damages for their medical bills, lost wages, or pain and suffering. To schedule a complimentary consultation with one of our dedicated Campbell County motorcycle accident lawyers, call our office today at 423-449-7980.

 

Source:

https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/safety/documents/MotorcycleManual.pdf

 

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