No matter what your teen drives on the road, there are going to be dangers. Although driving a motorcycle comes with many benefits, it can be scary too. Motorcyclists are 28 times more likely to die in a traffic accident than people in other vehicles.
Making your teenager drive a car is one solution, but it isn’t necessarily the best solution, especially if they have their heart set on driving a bike to school. Instead, follow these tips, and you can help keep your teen safe on the road when on a motorcycle.
Take a Motorcycle Training Course
One of the best things you can do for your teen is to enter them into a motorcycle training course. It will make them more confident when operating a motorcycle, and it will make it less stressful when they are taking the driving test to get their license.
There are many motorcycle training courses out there, including the one offered by Harley Davidson. If you choose a course that is approved by the DMV, your teen may not even have to take the driving test when the course is complete. Not to mention, it gives them the chance to see what riding a bike is all about. By the end of the course, they may decide driving a motorcycle isn’t for them after all.
Wear a Helmet
Most states have laws about wearing helmets, but surprisingly, some states don’t. It’s important to go over the laws where you live with your teen, but your child should wear a helmet whether it’s the law or not. Wearing a helmet can reduce the chance of fatalities by up to 42 percent, and a helmet can reduce brain injuries by up to 69 percent.
Wearing a helmet doesn’t have to be uncool. There are a lot of interesting and fun styles out there for your teen to choose from. It may cost a little money, but buying a helmet your teen likes means he or she is more likely to wear it.
Wear Protective Clothing
Not only should your teenager wear a helmet, but they should also pay close attention to what they’re wearing when they ride. A tough leather jacket can keep their body safe in case of an accident, and sturdy boots can keep their feet safe while they’re on the road.
Making rules for what not to wear is just as important as talking about what to wear. Big no-nos when riding a motorcycle include:
- Dresses and skirts
- Flip flops
- Tank tops
- All black
If your teen does want to wear a tank top or flip flops to school, have them layer school clothes under protective motorcycle clothes, and allow them to bring clothing to school so they can change when they get there.
Having passengers can increase your child’s chances of getting into an accident when in a car. It can increase the chances of an accident, even more, when your child is taking a passenger on their motorcycle. That’s because controlling a motorcycle is very different when there’s a passenger on the back than when there isn’t one.
If your teen wants to ride a bike to and from school, make it clear that they shouldn’t accept passengers, especially when they first start riding. When and if your teen is ready to start taking passengers, make sure you go over safety tips with them and their passengers. You may also want to get specific about exactly who is allowed to ride.
Get the Right Bike
Although finding the cheapest motorcycle will save you money, it may not be the safest option. It’s much better for you to choose the best beginner bike for your teenager than it is to buy the cheapest one you can find.
For example, quiet bikes are better for beginners than loud ones. Larger frames can be a little easier to ride, and larger fuel tanks can ensure your teen doesn’t end up running out of gas because they forgot to stop by the gas station again.
If money is a concern, look for used bikes first, and always give your teen a chance to ride the motorcycle before you decide to buy.
It’s true that riding a motorcycle can be dangerous, but it can help your family save money on fuel, and it guarantees that your child can’t cruise around town with all their friends. Let your teen drive the bike they’ve always wanted, and make sure they’re safe doing it when you follow these tips.