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Tips for being a good motorcycle passenger

Some of the best summer afternoons in New Jersey are passed on two wheels. As a passenger on a motorcycle, you get to really take in the scenery. While you’re enjoying the trip, however, keep in mind that you are an active participant in the ride. You have a responsibility to follow these guidelines to make sure you are being a safe, conscientious passenger.

  1. Dress appropriately: Wear clothing that will keep you safe. You should wear sturdy footwear that covers your feet and ankles. Pants made of a thick material, preferably leather, will protect your legs. Wear a jacket with long sleeves, again made of a heavy material, along with gloves, a well-fitted helmet and eye protection like goggles or dark glasses. While you should cover yourself up to prevent injury in the event of a bike crash, you should also dress appropriately for the weather. When you are on a motorcycle, hot weather will feel hotter, and cold air even colder. To keep cool on a summer day, wear a large white shirt over your jacket to reflect sun and heat.
  1. Get on and off the bike properly: A passenger is typically expected to mount and dismount the motorcycle from the left side. Always wait until the rider indicates that he or she is ready before you climb on or off. Keeping a motorcycle upright is all about balance — be sure the rider is ready to navigate your weight before you start to climb aboard.
  1. Maintain a safe riding position: Once you are on the motorcycle, place your feet on the passenger foot pegs, and keep them there. The exhaust is very hot, and your legs are in the proximity of multiple moving parts; the safest place for your feet is on the pegs. Place your hands on the rider’s hips and keep your weight centered over the motorcycle. Try not to move any more than necessary.
  1. Stay in tune with the rider’s movements: A motorcycle turns by banking or leaning. When the rider leans into a turn, you must shift your weight into the turn, as well. Do this by looking over the rider’s shoulder in the direction of the turn. For instance, if the motorcycle is turning left, just look over the rider’s left shoulder. Never lean out of a turn — you could throw off the rider’s balance and cause an accident.
  1. Stay alert: Take in the views from the back of the bike, but if you see something dangerous ahead, like a deer on the side of the road, be sure to alert the rider. Just calmly tap the rider on the shoulder and indicate the potential hazard by pointing. Be prepared for sudden stops and swerves, and try to watch the road ahead to anticipate tight curves or slowing traffic.

If you follow these guidelines, both you and the rider will have a great trip.

In the unlikely event of a crash, contact Andrew Prince, Esq. at 1-800-TEAM-LAW. He has been representing motorcycle riders for decades and is will help protect your rights.