How to be a safe motorcycle passenger

motorcyclist and passenger

There are countless articles on how to operate a motorcycle safely, but did you know that there are safety rules for passengers as well? While each driver might have some pet-peeves for their passengers, here are the general things that can help make you a safe motorcycle passenger. 

What to Expect from the Driver

Whoever you’re about to ride behind should make a few things clear, especially if you’re not used to riding as a passenger on a bike. First, they should have protective gear that you can wear if you didn’t bring your own. Never get on a bike without a jacket and helmet at minimum. 

Second, they should go over how to properly mount and sit on the bike, as well as what to do when they’re taking a corner. They might also go over actions to take when braking and stopping. Finally, they need to address how to communicate if you have an issue and need them to stop. 

If only some or none of these are addressed, it’s in your best interest to stay off their bike. Any indication of a lack of experience, multiple accidents, or drinking and driving are all red flags as well. If you decide to ride along anyway and there is an accident, it’s in your best interest to find a knowledgeable motor accident lawyer and seek compensation. 

Important Points While Riding

Before you even get on the bike, make sure to ask the driver how they want you to mount. Every bike is different, so there might be a way that makes more sense for their motorcycle. From there, you should keep your feet on the pegs or pedals to make sure you’re positioned correctly and avoid injury from contact with hot or moving parts. 

You should also ask the driver where they are comfortable with a passenger holding onto them. Some are fine with the waist, while others are okay with the shoulders. For drivers, a passenger holding onto their shoulders makes it difficult to steer. 

During heavy braking, it’s natural that your body will press against the driver. If there is a grab rail, you can use this to alleviate some of the pressure. While accelerating (without a backrest), you need to use your legs and arms to hold on. Also, don’t worry if your helmets clunk together. That’s the driver’s fault. 

Communication

Finally, it’s vital you know how to communicate while riding. Talking to one another is difficult with the wind whipping in your faces and the loud sounds of the motorcycle unless the driver has an intercom system. So, there’s a series of hand gestures and taps. 

If you want the drive to look at something interesting, tap them on the left shoulder and point. For the right shoulder, there’s a three-tap system for stopping. One tap means it’s time to stop soon, two means it’s urgent, and three means stop immediately. You can also ask them to slow down by patting their chest or stomach. 

Knowing how to communicate on a bike is the difference between a safe ride and an accident. If you experience a motorcycle accident on your trip, make sure to hire a personal injury attorney familiar with these types of wrecks to get the compensation you deserve.