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How to Be a Safe Motorcycle Passenger

By DiBella Law Offices on November 10, 2021

Riding on the back of a bike can be great fun, but it can also be risky business. When you climb on the back of a motorcycle, you are putting your life in the hands of the rider. Make sure you fully trust the rider before you get on the bike. Knowing how to be a good motorcycle passenger can increase your chances having a safe and pleasant ride.

What to Consider Before Getting on a Motorcycle As a Passenger

The person you ride with should demonstrate a concern for your safety as a passenger and have the skills to give you a safe ride. Things to consider include the following:

  • How much experience does the rider have? Riding with a passenger requires more skill than riding without one. A person on the back makes the bike heavier and more difficult to balance and steer. An inexperienced rider may not be up to the challenge. Make sure the person you ride with has at least a year of experience and is familiar with the current bike. If the rider has taken a Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) training course, that is a plus.
  • What type of gear should you wear? A helmet is the most important piece of safety gear to wear. Fit matters – a helmet that is too small can be uncomfortable to wear, and a helmet that is too big can come off in a crash. For maximum protection, you will need sturdy boots, gloves, a shirt with long sleeves, strong pants, and an armored motorcycle jacket.
  • What kind of seat does the bike have? Rear seats are considerably more comfortable on some bikes than on others. If you are considering a long ride, the level of comfort the passenger seat provides makes a difference.
  • Where are you going and when? When you are riding on a bike at highway speeds, you are exposed to the elements with a wind chill factor. Cool weather conditions can feel much colder on the back of a motorcycle. The time of year and time of day will affect your enjoyment of the ride.
  • How do you signal the rider, and vice versa? You and the rider may not be able to hear each other on the open road. Ideally, use a Bluetooth device to communicate during the ride. In the alternative, come up with a way to signal the rider, for example if you want to slow down or stop.

What Does It Mean to Be a Good Motorcycle Passenger?

It takes more than hanging on to be a good motorcycle passenger. You need to know how to avoid making it more difficult for the rider to handle the bike. Keep the following tips in mind on the ride:

  • Make sure the rider is ready before you get on or off the bike: Jumping on or off the back of a bike unexpectedly could cause the rider to drop it.
  • Distribute your weight between the foot pegs and the passenger seat for greater stability.
  • Don’t hang on the rider: It can throw off his or her ability to balance and control the bike. Place your hands on the tank, or if you can’t reach it, put your arms around the rider’s waist.
  • Only lean into turns naturally as the bike does: Just look over the rider’s shoulder in the direction of the turn.
  • Don’t touch exhaust pipes when getting on or off the bike. They get extremely hot!

If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident as a passenger, it is important to contact an experienced Massachusetts motorcycle accident attorney for your best chance of recovering full compensation. At DiBella Law Offices, P.C., we have a successful track record representing injured people. Call us today at (978) 327-5140.