SAFETY RESOURCES

Motorcycle Passenger Safety Tips

Sometimes you don’t want to cruise down the highway on your bike alone. You want your friends, family members or significant other to feel the wind in their hair and hear the roar of your iron steed. So it’s only natural to want them to ride on the back of your bike. Sure you want them to experience the rush of being on a motorcycle, but you also want them to be safe as well.

Before you hit the road with a passenger in tow, here are some safety tips from the Motorcycle Safety Foundation* that you should keep in mind:

  • Follow all state laws and requirements for carrying a passenger.
  • Some states have specific equipment requirements. Examples: the motorcycle must have passenger footrests, passengers must be able to reach the footrests, and a motorcycle must have a separate seating area for a passenger.
  • The decision to carry a child, assuming all safety and legal factors have been considered, is left to the parent or guardian. Ensure that the child is mature enough to handle the responsibilities; tall enough to reach the footrests, wears a properly fitted helmet and other protective gear, and holds onto you or the passenger hand-holds. Check your state’s laws; a few states have set minimum ages for motorcycle passengers.
  • You need to be experienced in the motorcycle’s operation and have a safety-oriented attitude before taking on the added responsibility of carrying a passenger.
  • Practice low-speed clutch/throttle control as well as normal and emergency braking in a low-risk area like an open parking lot, with a passenger.
  • Use caution in cornering and develop cornering skills over time to ensure passenger comfort and safety.
  • Allow time for a passenger to adjust to the sense of speed and the sensation of leaning; speeds should be conservatively safe and reasonable until a passenger acclimates to the proper riding techniques.

Keep these tips in mind and you can keep yourself and your passenger safe at all times.

* http://www.msf-usa.org/downloads/Passenger_Tip_Sheet.pdf

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