Motorcycle rides can be immensely fun, but they can quickly turn into tragedies if passengers fail to follow the basics of having a safe drive. Here are seven ways to stay safe as a motorcycle passenger when going on long rides.
1. Wear Safety Gear
If you want to be a safe motorcycle passenger, you should wear all the necessary safety gear. Never ride a bike without a helmet, as helmets keep passengers safe just like they do with drivers.
A passenger needs a helmet more than a driver because he or she is at a higher risk of falling and injuries. That is why if a passenger doesn’t have a helmet, the driver should give their helmet instead. It is less about courtesy and more about keeping the motorcycle passenger safe.
You’ll also need protective gloves, riding boots, denim or leather pants, and a leather jacket, even if you’re just a passenger. Your feet sit close to insanely fast spinning wheels and a hot exhaust pipe, so wear ankle coverings or riding boots and long pants made from strong fabric.
2. Dress Accordingly
Before going on a motorcycle ride, you need to check out where and for how long you would be riding. Even if it is chilly outside, on a two-wheeler riding at 60 mph per hour, it can get downright freezing with the wind blowing into your face. So, if you want to avoid hypothermia, make sure that you get all the layers you need. It is better being too hot than being too cold, a lesson many newbie motorcycle passengers quickly learn.
3. Keep Your Feet Away from Exhaust Pipes
A motorcycle’s exhaust pipes can get really hot during long rides, around 300 to 500 degrees and even higher. They are usually located just below the passenger seat, so be extra careful when getting off the bike to avoid serious burns.
4. Don’t Move Around too Much
As a motorcycle passenger, you should not move around too much while riding as the driver can get startled or quickly lose balance. It is critical to stand still during rides and make all the necessary adjustments before the ride or when the bike is stopped. Let the driver know that you need a break when the position gets too uncomfortable. Also, make sure that the bike is adequately equipped to carry passengers comfortably during a long ride. A backrest, lots of padding, and footpegs are must-haves over long distances to keep the passenger comfortable.
Also, avoid making sudden moves. Any sudden move may startle the driver, which can have fatal consequences at high speeds.
5. Follow the Driver’s Lead
To stay safe, motorcycle passengers should follow the driver’s lead. When he or she leans during turns, follow their lead. Don’t move your body to the opposite direction when in a turn as you risk getting the vehicle out of balance and tilt.
Whatever the driver does, do it exactly as they do it. But don’t overdo it. If you lean too much, you risk affecting the motorcycle’s stability. Whatever you do, do it naturally. It is a skill motorcycle passengers usually learn after many rides.
6. Communicate with Hand Signals
While you are riding, the driver might not be able to hear you, especially when both of you are wearing helmets. Use Bluetooth enabled helmets instead or develop a communication system that involves hand gestures. The driver already sees your hands, so use hand signals to tell them when you are tired and need a break, you need to use the restroom, or you simply are alright when the driver seems concerned.
Using hand signals is the safest way to communicate while on the road since it doesn’t distract the driver and doesn’t force the passenger to yell to make themselves heard and make the driver lose focus.
7. Wrap Your Arms Around the Driver
To stay safe on a bike as a passenger, hug the driver from behind but don’t hang onto them. If you don’t feel comfortable embracing the driver, make sure that the motorcycle has handlebars for passengers. Never hold onto their shoulders as the driver risks losing balance. Hanging on their arms is not recommended either.
You can have a safe and fun ride on a motorcycle if you manage to learn the basics of motorcycle passenger safety. Wearing protective gear, standing still, and following the driver’s lead to a tee are just some of the safety rules that passengers need to follow to stay safe.
However, despite all precautions, a bike accident can happen, especially if hit by a negligent or inexperienced driver. When that happens, if you were severely injured on a bike, schedule a free consultation with a motorcycle accident attorney to get those responsible for your injuries to cover your medical bills, lost wages, along with your physical pain and emotional suffering.