There is nothing wrong with hopping on the back of a motorcycle and enjoying the ride, particularly throughout the state of Colorado, where there is beautiful scenery to take in. If you are going to be riding on a motorcycle as a passenger, there are steps you can take to ensure that you remain safe on your ride. Here, we want to offer some tips for motorcycle passengers that we think can help keep them safe when they are on the roadway.
Motorcycle Passengers Face Serious Risks
Unfortunately, the safety of motorcycle passengers is often an afterthought when it comes to hopping on a bike. The reality is that motorcycle passengers face a higher risk of sustaining traumatic brain injuries than the motorcycle driver. According to a study discussed in Reuters, traumatic brain injuries were the most common type of injury sustained in motorcycle accidents for both drivers and passengers. However, motorcycle passengers experienced traumatic brain injuries more often.
Tips for Increasing Motorcycle Passenger Safety
There are various steps that you can take if you will be riding as a passenger on a motorcycle to help ensure that you remain safe.
- Have your own safety gear. If you are going to be riding on a motorcycle, you should have your own safety gear designed specifically for your body. Even if a driver has a helmet available, there is a good chance that the helmet will not fit you properly. An ill-fitting motorcycle helmet will offer little to no protection in the event a collision occurs. Helmets are just one part of the overall gear that you should wear to remain safe as a passenger. You should also consider having gloves, sturdy boots, strong pants, long sleeve shirts, and a motorcycle jacket.
- Do not cling to the driver. Even though you may see people with their arms wrapped around a motorcycle rider on TV shows and movies, this is not ideal for the driver. This shifts your weight onto them and can affect their ability to control the bike. Instead, you should stabilize yourself by placing your hands on the tank, particularly when coming to a stop. You can place your arms around the driver’s waist, but do not hang on to them by their shoulders.
- Use the footpegs. The law requires that passengers have footpegs. When you use the footpegs, you should keep your weight evenly distributed between the pegs and the passenger seat instead of putting all of your weight directly on the seat. This will help bring stability for the motorcycle driver.
- Do not lean into the turns like the driver. You should lean naturally into turns as the bike does, but it is not a good idea to lean more than that. A good rule to follow is that you should look over the motorcycle driver’s shoulder in the direction you are turning. Leaning too much or too little when the driver is not expecting it can cause them to lose control of the bike.
- Watch out for the exhaust pipes. As a passenger, you need to watch out for the exhaust pipes of the bike. These pipes can get extremely hot during the ride, and when they touch bare skin, they can leave severe burns.
- Do not ride with a reckless or intoxicated driver. You should never get onto a motorcycle with a driver who is going to be reckless or who is impaired by alcohol or drugs. If you are honest with yourself, then you likely know when a motorcyclist is going to be reckless on the roadway.