Motorcycle rides are thrilling, but unlike vehicles, they come with that unshakable sense of dread because you’re vulnerable in more ways than you can count.
As a rider, proper training and caution on the road are vital for your wellbeing. You’re literally sitting on a speed machine that matches any fast car with no external layer of protection besides your body.
The situation becomes even more unnerving with someone else on board. It makes an already risky situation riskier.
However, as the passenger, you can take some measures to ensure your safety and that of the rider. Check out these five ways you can be a safe motorcycle passenger:
1) Driver Experience is Key
Do you want to observe safety as a pillion rider?
First, make sure the driver is experienced enough and has ridden with a passenger before.
Keep in mind that you’re putting your life in the driver’s hands. So they must check all the boxes for a good motorcyclist.
You see, it makes no difference when driving alone or with passengers inside a car, but the same can’t be said for motorbikes. Riding two-up affects weight, balance, and navigation.
2) Use Proper Gear
Motorcycle accidents are the most fatal of all motor vehicles for obvious reasons such as they can’t offer much in the way of safety. Basically, the driver’s skills and discipline are the only things between them and the asphalt.
Considering motorbikes are estimated to be only about 3% of all registered motor vehicles in the country, they account for 14% of all traffic deaths and, even worse, 17% of passenger deaths.
You can improve your chances of survival and reduce the extent of injuries in the event of a crush by putting on proper gear. Make sure you wear a helmet to protect your head during impact.
Here are other items you need for proper motorcycle gear:
- Armored jacket
- Riding boots
- Quality gloves
- Knee and shin guards
3) Pay Attention
Considering the huge risk factor, you need to pay attention to what’s going on. While the driver is responsible for both of you, you still have a vital role to play.
Remember, you’re riding on two wheels, leaning into bends at considerable speeds. You definitely don’t want to get distracted and do something to affect the balance.
It’d be best to keep your eyes on the road and watch out for unsafe areas. Communicate with the driver if you notice something concerning; after all, two pairs of eyes are better than one.
4) Avoid Movements
The second you hop onto a bike, make sure to sit correctly and comfortably.
Balance is everything when it comes to motorbikes. You don’t want to start moving about, adjusting your position when the bike is on the move. That’ll be a recipe for disaster as the driver could lose control due to the shifts in weight.
The safe thing to do is to relax and hold firmly to the driver because your grip is the only thing keeping you from falling. Also, try not to stiffen but flow with the bike’s motion to maintain perfect balance.
5) Watch Your Feet
Mind your feet at all times because you can get severely injured if you absently land your foot in the running wheels or step on the road.
You may be tempted to imitate the driver when they occasionally put their foot down, but that action may cause the motorcycle to crash. Remember that the driver uses their feet to control the bike in certain situations, and you’re not needed to do the same.
Once you get on the bike, put your feet on the passenger pegs and keep them there. Ask the driver before you set out if you don’t know where to rest your feet.
When riding two-up, always remember that it’s easier for you to fall off than the driver because you’re not in charge of the situation, and you don’t have the best grip.
Ask the driver about their experience and safety tips so you can try and gauge their riding style. If you think they’re being reckless, communicate that you want to get off.
Lastly, you may want to reach out to a motorcycle accident attorney if you sustain injuries due to driver negligence.