Julie thank you for your great review. I have been a Licensed Insurance Agent for over 15 years. I sell, write, and service auto, home, life, health, disability, and various insurance. I have only worked for the biggest insurance companies in the world, and the USA. All Fortune 500 companies, and they would not take underwrite a risk that was unacceptable. Many houses only have a railing on one side, and it is fine.
Furthermore based on law, safety, codes, regulations, and insurance you only need a handrail on one side if there are four steps or more. This is why I have 30 clear pictures with captions, that shows the steps, and handrail. The reason why I do not allow small children, because they may not be properly monitored by their parents.
However, for teenagers, and adults it has never been an issue. It should never be an issue, use the handrail, and side that goes all the way down. I have lived here for nine years without incident. This home was built in the late 70's, and no other homeowners ever had an issue either. So there is no way it can be an issue, just use the correct handrail. I rarely use it. However, for safety I would recommend anyone to use a handrail if they feel comfortable, want to be more cautious, attentive, alert, and feel more safe. We have a great set of stairs, they are not too high, excellent handrail that goes all the way to the end, and the beginning of the stairs.