While hopping on a motorcycle as a passenger can be exhilarating, passengers are much more problematic on a motorcycle than in a car. Passengers are often a bigger distraction for a motorcyclists because they must often sit right behind the motorcyclist. Passengers can also affect the balance of the motorcycle and this can sometimes lead to accidents. If you have a motorcycle, you can keep yourself and your passengers safer by following these tips:
1) Avoid passengers until you become very skilled on your motorcycle. Take a course for motorcyclists and practice driving your motorcycle in all sorts of conditions before you take on any passengers. To be safe, you need to be able to handle a motorcycle very well before you have any passengers.
2) Get a passenger’s helmet and insist all passengers wear it. Once you are ready to have passengers, you should purchase a motorcycle helmet and keep it on your bike at all times for passengers. Never allow a passenger on your motorcycle without a helmet. A helmet is the best defense you can offer your passengers against brain injuries.
3) Make sure that you start the motorcycle first and then have passengers climb on. This is usually more comfortable for the passenger and ensures that you can start the motorcycle unencumbered by your passenger.
4) Position your passengers correctly on a motorcycle. Your passengers sit behind you, with their feet on the footrests at all times. Make sure that your passengers understand that they should never remove their feet from the footrest. If they do so, you might move forward while your passenger is losing their balance. Have the passengers keep their legs away from the mufflers, as mufflers heat up during a ride and can cause burn injuries. Make sure that passengers hold into your waist at all times. There are no seat belts available – you are the stabilizing force for your passengers.
5) Instruct your passengers to lean with you when you turn. This will help keep your motorcycle more stable and will make it easier for you to control the vehicle.
6) Avoid passenger distraction. Due to the motorcycle’s noise, you will need to strain to hear your passengers talking, and this can distract you from the road. Have your passengers avoid talking and have them turn off their cell phones before hopping on your motorcycle as well – the sudden ring of the phone can startle you. On a motorcycle, a passenger’s movement can be distracting as well, so make sure your passengers remain still behind you.