Being a passenger on a motorcycle requires attention and communication. To prevent a serious motorcycle accident, the passenger and the motorcycle rider will need to discuss risks and how to avoid them before they even get on the motorcycle.
Communication Is Important
Conversation is unlikely at high speeds on a motorcycle, so work out a few hand signals. Most important will be: stop, slow down, look, and everything is okay. Most people will use hand taps and thumbs-down/thumbs-up signals.
Make the first ride you take together a short one so that you can get used to each other's styles. The rider you choose to ride with should be licensed to ride a motorcycle and should take safety precautions seriously.
The Right Gear
Using the right gear is key to staying safe on a motorcycle. For a passenger, the gear is the same as the rider's:
- A helmet that meets California standards and fits correctly
- Goggles, glasses or a face shield
- Gloves that are leather, tight and cover the fingers
- A jacket made of a heavy material, preferably leather
- Pants made of a heavy material
- Boots that cover the foot and ankle, preferably leather
A rider who tells you that you do not need safety gear is probably a rider who is not going to keep your safety at the top of his mind.
The Right Rider
When you are deciding whether to be a passenger on a motorcycle, remember that this could end up being a life-altering decision. No matter what pressures you feel, the rider should be considerate enough to make sure that you are safe and comfortable.
A rider should make sure that:
- You have the gear you need
- You are familiar with the crucial aspects of the bike
- You know how to get on and off the motorcycle
- You know where to put your hands and feet before, during and after the ride
- If you want to end the ride, you can end it
Using safe practices as a motorcycle passenger can prevent injuries like spinal injuries, head and brain injuries, road rash, broken bones and facial injuries. Take the time to ensure that you are ready to ride.