Your friend just got a motorcycle, and he wants to take you for a ride on the Alabama roadways. However, donning a helmet and hopping on the back seat can put you at risk in ways that riding shotgun in a car never would. At The Sapp Law Firm, L.L.C., we understand the many ways that a motorcycle passenger could sustain serious injuries.
MotorcyclistOnline.com notes that you are not a passive rider just because you are not in control of the steering and brakes. You must be ready for any of the operator's actions.
During stops, starts and acceleration, you will need to be braced to keep from losing your balance or upsetting the motorcycle stability. You should ask if the operator prefers you to hold onto the grab handles or put your arms around his waist. At a standstill, the operator will put his feet down, but you should keep yours on the pegs.
You may think that holding still is the best way to help the operator maintain the motorcycle's balance. When making turns or going around curves, though, staying straight and tall in your seat is a mistake. Instead, lean in the same direction that the operator does, looking over his inside shoulder.
If your friend has helmets equipped with Bluetooth, the two of you are set up for communication. If not, any back and forth may be impossible, and that could cause a problem down the road. Agree on hand signals before you ride so you can let him know if you are uncomfortable with the speed or you need to stop for any reason.
More information about motorcycle safety is available on our webpage.