Being a motorcycle passenger can be a thrilling experience for novices, but handling a motorcycle is much more difficult than it appears. There are dangerous things that motorcycle passengers should never do. As a back-seat rider, your performance may affect how well the motorcycle handles, turns and stops. You, the passenger, have the greatest impact on the dynamics of the motorcycle. Your preparation prior to riding will be crucial to the enjoyment and safety of the experience. The operator must have experience and have driven before. There are also several precautions to take to ensure your safety. Wearing the appropriate equipment may save your life in the event of a collision. A properly fitted helmet with a face shield is critical, in addition to durable clothing and gloves (preferably leather boots). Every year in Colorado, numerous motorcyclists and their passengers are fatally injured in traffic accidents.
When riding a motorcycle, every rider has to make critical decisions about how to best stay safe. The more experienced riders know that there are certain things you simply shouldn’t do as a passenger. In fact, these decisions can put you at serious risk of injury or even death. Unfortunately, new riders don’t always have the benefit of experience when it comes to staying safe on the road, which is why so many passenger accidents happen in the first place. Even those who are just learning about motorcyclists and their habits know that passengers need to be extremely cautious when getting on the back of a bike. However, as any seasoned biker will tell you, practice makes perfect.
1. Don’t Hold On Tight
One of the most dangerous things you can do as a passenger is to hold on tight to your biker’s body. It may seem like an instinctual move, but it’s actually one of the worst things you can do. Holding on tightly can cause your biker to lose control of the bike, especially if you’re on a high-speed road with lots of bumps or bends. Holding on tightly can also cause your biker to lose their balance, which can lead to a serious accident. Instead of gripping your rider’s body, try to hold on loosely. This will help your biker remain in control while they’re riding, and it will allow them to react quickly if something unexpected happens. The last thing you want to do is cause an accident because you were too focused on holding on when you could have been preparing for the road ahead.
2. Don’t Sit in the Shake Zone
Another dangerous thing that you shouldn’t do as a passenger is sit in the “shake zone.” This is the area behind the biker where they rest their feet while they ride. If you’re in the “shake zone,” you could easily get hit by the back wheel if the biker comes to a sudden stop. Additionally, you could get hit if the bike itself tips over. It’s important to note that this is not just a problem for new or inexperienced passengers. Even experienced bikers can make the mistake of sitting someone in the wrong area on the back of their bike. Don’t sit in the shake zone if you want to stay out of harm’s way. Instead, sit in the “sway zone,” which is just behind the seat. In this position, you’ll be able to move freely with the ride, but you also avoid the danger of being hit by the back wheel. You can also ask your biker to adjust their height so you can sit in the “lean zone,” which is the area behind the seat but below the back wheel. This is another safe option for new or inexperienced passengers.
3. Don’t Lean Together with the Biker
While you don’t want to hold onto your biker too tightly, you also don’t want to hold yourself too rigidly. Bikers often like to lean into the road as they ride, especially on high-speed highways. It’s important that you don’t try to hold yourself upright while your biker is leaning. This can cause you to lose your balance, which can lead to an accident. Instead of leaning with your biker, try to lean away from them. This will help you to keep your balance while they are leaning and keep you safe. The last thing you want to do is cause an accident because you were too focused on trying to match your biker’s movements.
4. Don’t Let Your Feet Touch the Ground
Many passengers think it’s a good idea to put their feet down when riding on the back of a motorcycle. However, you should never put your feet on the ground when riding as a passenger. In fact, it’s illegal to put your feet on the ground if you’re riding in certain states. In some places, it’s only illegal if you’re riding in the front seat of a motorcycle, but in others, it’s illegal no matter where you are seated on the bike. If you put your feet down while riding, you run the risk of being hit by other vehicles. Your feet can also get caught up in the wheels, which can cause serious injury. Even if you don’t get hit by another driver or get your feet caught in the wheel, putting your feet down while riding is still a dangerous decision. It can also put you at risk of falling off the bike.
5. Don’t Try to Hold Conversation
Another dangerous thing you shouldn’t do as a passenger is trying to hold a conversation with the driver. While most bikers love to talk, it’s important to pay attention to the road when riding. Riding a motorcycle is a highly dangerous activity, and it should be treated with the same level of care as if you were driving a car. If you’re not prepared to pay attention to the road, you shouldn’t get on the back of a motorcycle. If you’re holding a conversation with your biker while they’re driving, you’re not paying attention to the road in front of you. This can put you and your biker at risk of getting into an accident. Riding a motorcycle is dangerous enough. You don’t need to make it more dangerous by engaging in activities that can cause an accident.
When riding a motorcycle, every rider has to make critical decisions about how to best stay safe. The more experienced riders know that there are certain things you simply shouldn’t do as a passenger. In fact, these decisions can put you at serious risk of injury or even death. Unfortunately, new riders don’t always have the benefit of experience when it comes to staying safe on the road, which is why so many passenger accidents happen in the first place. Even those who are just learning about motorcyclists and their habits know that passengers need to be extremely cautious when getting on the back of a bike. However, as any seasoned biker will tell you, practice makes perfect. For reference, we suggest reviewing publications from the Motorcycle Safety Foundation outlining Legal Considerations and Operator Preparation Guideline for Riding With A Passenger on your Motorcycle.
In order to file a claim for damages following a motorcycle crash, it’s important to work with a qualified Colorado personal injury motorcycle lawyer who is a veteran negotiator and has ample trial experience.
Mandelaris Law has advocated for injured motorcyclists and their families, helping them recover fair compensation for their losses, pain, and suffering. Schedule a free consultation with a trusted Denver, Colorado motorcycle accident attorney by calling (303)357-9757.