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Motorcycle AccidentsWhat Age Can a Child Ride on the Back of a Motorcycle in Texas?

January 4, 2024by Crystal Henry

5 Years Old – In Texas, a child must be at least five years old to legally ride as a passenger on a motorcycle. Parents and guardians are responsible for ensuring their child meets this age requirement for their safety.

Embarking on a motorcycle journey with a child in tow can be an exhilarating experience, especially against the backdrop of Houston’s open roads and warm Texas sunshine.

However, before venturing into this shared adventure, a thorough understanding of the rules and regulations surrounding child motorcycle passengers in Texas is crucial.

In this comprehensive guide, we delve deep into the legal landscape and safety considerations associated with children riding on the back of motorcycles in the Lone Star State.

Legal Age and Helmet Requirements

Legal Age

In Texas, the legal age for a child to ride on the back of a motorcycle is five years and older.

This age limit reflects a balance between a child’s physical development and the ability to grasp essential safety measures.

Parents and guardians must ensure that their child meets this minimum age requirement before allowing them to become passengers on a motorcycle.

Related: How Old Do You Have to be to Ride a Motorcycle in Texas?

Helmet Requirements

Beyond the age limit, Texas imposes stringent helmet requirements for young passengers.

According to the state’s motorcycle helmet law, all passengers under the age of 21 must wear a helmet that meets the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 218.

This standard ensures that helmets provide adequate protection by meeting specific criteria for energy attenuation and penetration resistance.

The use of DOT-approved helmets, identifiable by the “DOT” stamp, is mandatory for child passengers.

It is crucial to recognize that adult-sized helmets are unsuitable for children.

Properly fitting helmets equipped with chin straps and eye protection are essential for ensuring a child’s safety in the event of a crash.

Safety Features Required by Malorie’s Law

Handholds and Footrests

Malorie’s Law mandates specific safety features for motorcycles carrying passengers, with a particular focus on children.

These include handholds and footrests, essential components that contribute to the stability and security of a child passenger during the ride.

The law underscores the importance of ensuring that motorcycles are equipped with these features to enhance the safety of child passengers.

Permanent Passenger Seat

In addition to handholds and footrests, motorcycles intended to carry passengers, including children, must have a permanent passenger seat.

This seat should be securely attached to the vehicle, positioned either behind the driver or on the side in the case of a sidecar.

This requirement ensures that the child has a designated and safe space on the motorcycle.

Prohibition of Riding in Front

Notably, Malorie’s Law explicitly prohibits children from riding in front of the driver on a motorcycle.

This provision further emphasizes the need to position child passengers in designated areas to prevent unnecessary risks and ensure their safety.

Safety Considerations for Child Passengers

Stability and Grip

Beyond legal requirements, responsible riders must assess additional safety considerations before allowing a child on their motorcycle.

Ensuring that a child can reach the footrests and adequately grip the handhold is fundamental for stability, especially during sharper turns.

Riders should evaluate the child’s physical capability to maintain a secure grip throughout the ride.

Understanding Bracing and Grip

Equally critical is the child’s understanding of bracing themselves during turns and the importance of maintaining a tight grip on the handholds.

Education and communication between the rider and the child are key components in instilling a sense of responsibility and safety consciousness.

Additional Safety Measures

Some riders choose to implement additional safety measures, such as belts, to secure the child to the driver.

These belts add stability for both individuals on the motorcycle and help prevent the child from overcorrecting.

Additionally, they offer protection in case the child becomes tired or falls asleep during the ride.

Gradual Acclimatization

Practicing on quieter streets and at slower speeds is a prudent approach to acclimate the child to the motorcycle gradually.

This gradual introduction allows the child to become familiar with the dynamics of the motorcycle and helps them build confidence over time.

Consideration for motorcycle safety training sessions further enhances a child’s understanding of being a safe and responsible passenger.

Keeping Kids Safe on Motorcycles

Risks Associated with Motorcycle Accidents

Understanding the risks associated with motorcycle accidents is paramount, considering the lack of protective shells that cars or trucks provide.

In the unfortunate event of a crash, motorcycle drivers and passengers, including children, are more vulnerable to severe injuries and fatalities.

Also Read: What Should I do if I was Hit by a Motorcycle in Houston, TX?

Importance of Protective Gear

Emphasizing the use of appropriate protective gear for child passengers is crucial.

Helmets designed specifically for kids play a pivotal role in safeguarding them from head injuries, which are particularly common in motorcycle accidents.

Ensuring that children are properly equipped with protective gear significantly reduces the risk of severe injuries.

Proactive Steps for Prevention

Taking proactive steps to protect child passengers can go a long way in preventing severe injuries in the event of an accident.

Responsible riders should prioritize safety, adhere to legal requirements, and invest in quality protective gear for their young passengers.


As responsible riders, our commitment to adhering to Texas laws and prioritizing the safety of child passengers on motorcycles defines our journey.

Through a nuanced understanding of legal requirements, the implementation of additional safety measures, and the provision of proper protective gear, we create an environment where the thrill of riding coexists with responsible and secure practices.

In doing so, we ensure that the open road remains a source of joy for all, with safety as the paramount consideration.

Ensuring Safe Motorcycle Adventures for Your Child in Texas

Ready to embark on unforgettable motorcycle adventures with your child in Texas? Safety is paramount, and understanding the legal requirements and best practices is crucial.

If you have questions or need legal guidance regarding child motorcycle passenger laws in Texas, don’t hesitate to reach out to Crystal Henry, a trusted Personal Injury Lawyer.

Crystal’s expertise in personal injury law, coupled with her commitment to ensuring the safety of motorcyclists and their passengers, makes her a reliable source of legal assistance.

Whether you’re seeking clarification on regulations or need guidance on safety measures, Crystal is here to help.

Crystal Henry Personal Injury Lawyer
3730 Kirby Dr #901, Houston, TX 77098, United States


Can my child ride on the back of a motorcycle in Texas?

In Texas, children aged five and older are legally permitted to ride on the back of a motorcycle. However, certain safety regulations must be followed to ensure their well-being.

What safety gear is required for child motorcycle passengers in Texas?

All passengers under the age of 21, including children, must wear a helmet that meets Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 218. It is essential to use helmets specifically designed for children, ensuring proper fit and safety features.

Are there specific safety features required for motorcycles carrying child passengers in Texas?

Yes, motorcycles carrying passengers, particularly children, must have handholds and footrests for added stability. Additionally, a permanent passenger seat firmly attached to the vehicle is mandated, either behind the driver or on the side in the case of a sidecar.

Can a child ride in front of the driver on a motorcycle in Texas?

No, Malorie’s Law explicitly prohibits children from riding in front of the driver on a motorcycle. Children should be positioned in designated areas with appropriate safety features.

How can I ensure my child’s safety on a motorcycle?

Prioritize safety considerations, including assessing the child’s ability to reach footrests and grip handholds securely. Additionally, provide education on bracing during turns and maintaining a tight grip.

Consider using additional safety measures such as belts and gradually acclimate the child to the motorcycle.

What are the risks associated with motorcycle accidents involving children?

Motorcycle accidents pose increased risks to passengers, including children, due to the lack of protective shells. Injuries sustained in motorcycle accidents are often more severe, making the use of proper protective gear crucial.

Can children wear adult-sized motorcycle helmets?

No, adult-sized helmets are not suitable for children. It is essential to ensure that children wear properly fitting helmets designed for their size, equipped with chin straps and eye protection.

Is motorcycle safety training recommended for child passengers?

Yes, motorcycle safety training sessions can enhance a child’s understanding of being a safe and responsible passenger. Such training sessions provide valuable knowledge on safety practices and help instill a sense of responsibility in young riders.

About the Author

Crystal Henry, a highly respected and compassionate personal injury lawyer based in Houston, is a force to be reckoned with in the legal field. With years of experience and a genuine passion for helping others, Crystal has become a trusted advocate for her clients. Her journey in law began with a strong desire to make a positive impact on people’s lives during their most challenging times.