HOW MOTORCYCLE OPERATORS CAN PROTECT THEIR PASSENGERS
Riding a motorcycle is a great way to spend time outdoors, but it is not without risk. Motorcyclists ride through Tennessee every day, encountering negligent motorists or poor road conditions along the way. As the Insurance Information Institute reports, there were approximately 8.4 million motorcycles riding across the country in 2013.
It is imperative that vehicle drivers share the road with motorcyclists, taking care to pay attention to their surroundings. As the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration points out, the small size of a bike makes it less visible to motorists. However, that is no excuse for a vehicle to strike or endanger a motorcyclist.
At the same time, motorcyclists can do their part to ensure their safety. Knowing the laws and the risks can help someone protect against an accident. Passenger safety is a large part of that. Adding a passenger to a motorcycle will change the way the bike handles.
In Tennessee, there is no age restriction for a bike passenger. However, as the Motorcycle Safety Foundation points out, motorcycle passengers should be big enough to reach the footrests on the bike and be able to hold on to safety grips or the operator. Additionally, operators should take into account the following:
- Turns can be a little more difficult because the additional weight can change the balance of the bike.
- Braking might have to occur sooner and with more force.
- A bike carrying a passenger may be more susceptible to factors such as side wind.
Wearing a helmet, long pants and other safety gear is also recommended for all operators and their passengers. While not every accident can be avoided, it is possible to minimize the risks by taking these precautions.