Motorcycles are typically one-person vehicles, but when passengers go along for a ride they need to know the basics of motorcycle safety. If you’re a passenger on a motorcycle ride and the driver’s negligence causes a crash and you suffer injuries and impairments as a result of the motorcycle accident, the driver is liable. If you’re a driver, for the safety of your passenger and to ensure as safe a ride as possible, make sure you share these motorcycle safety tips with your passenger:
- Braking on a motorcycle. Educate passengers about the best way to position themselves when the driver is braking and where the foot pegs are. Braking on any vehicle sends occupants forward. If the passenger is not aware of this, they could slide dangerously into the driver and impair the driver’s control of the motorcycle.
- Establish a communication system. Decide how the passenger will alert the driver of upcoming hazards. If a deer is approaching the road and the passenger wants to tell the driver, usually a tap on the shoulder and pointing at the danger is a safe way of communication, but sometimes speed and weather do not permit these actions. Create alternative communication methods for different situations so that both the driver and the passenger can keep each other informed and out of harm’s way.
- Passengers learn to lean and look on turns. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Association, the most common cause of fatal, single-bike crashes is the inability to turn on a curve. Bikers will continue to move straight and hit a stationary object, like a recent Charlotte moped crash that killed 45-year-old David Alvarez. Motorcycle passengers may not be familiar with the way motorcycles turn. The driver leans into turns and passengers need only to look over the shoulder of the driver in the direction they are turning. This will maintain natural distribution of weight and prevent loss of traction.
- Find the foot pegs. Stress the safety and importance for passengers to keep their feet on the foot pegs at all times. If they come into contact with the drive chain/belt, rear well or the muffler they could be burned, injured or cause a crash.