There was a time when all a parent had to fret about was the day that their teen got their driving permit. It’s likely safe to say times have changed. Oddly enough, there are many teens that are interested in learning how to ride a motorcycle, or dirt bike instead. If you happen to be the parent of a teen who’s interested in riding a bike, chances are you’ve pondered over the decision for a while and had some reservations about their safety.
Unfortunately, we can’t keep the kids sheltered all their lives, so the best thing to do is not panic, and help them learn to be safe while on the road. To do this, you’ll need to provide them with a few facts, cover them with adequate motorcycle insurance, and allow them to get a lot of practice. Here’s a bit more advice below:
Tips for Teen Riders
The best way to ensure that your teen does not get hurt while riding their bike is to provide them with tips on how to remain safe. Below are a few riding tips to discuss with your teen.
1. Consider Taking a Motorcycle Training Course
Many of the motorcycle accidents on the road today are a direct result of people not having enough formal training. Just like there are driver’s education courses for cars, you can also find a training course for the bike. These courses are ideal for teens as they can help them to learn important riding skills early on.
Your state’s Department of Motor Vehicle should be able to provide you with a list of approved riding courses in your area. Also, be sure to talk with your insurance provider as your teen may be able to qualify for savings once they’ve completed the course.
2. Invest in a Good Helmet
It might seem cool and even common for teens and young adults to ride around on their bikes without a helmet, however, this could be very dangerous. If involved in an accident, it could lead to serious head injuries. While there are presently 19 states that leave the choice of helmets up to the teens and parents, it is best to be on the safe side until they’re older and more experienced.
When looking for the best bike helmet, you want to make sure that it fits correctly and that it is approved by DOT. A helmet that fits well should sit directly on the top of the teen’s head without tilting and should also protect the forehead. Lastly, they should have energy-absorbing foam that will protect the head in the event of an accident.
3. Safety Gear is Important Too
Your arms and legs are completely exposed when riding a motorcycle and thus vulnerable to injuries. It is recommended that you wear protective clothing to keep them safe. Wearing clothes that cover you from head to toe such as denim, leather jackets, over the ankle books, and even goggles are ideal. Try to wear bright clothing so that you don’t blend in during the night.
4. Don’t Speed
When you’re behind the wheel of a bike, it can be pretty tempting to speed off up the street or down the highway, but it is not recommended. More motorcycle accidents are caused by speeding than anything else. Make sure that your teen remembers to stay within the speeding limits at all times.
5. No Friends on the Bike
Another cool concept is to take a friend for a ride on the back of the bike. This is not recommended. Riding with a passenger requires great skill and can be difficult when you’re just starting out. Passengers can cause distractions which can lead to a collision. It is best to stick to riding alone.
6. Choose the Right Bike
You’ll need to select a bike that is cost efficient, but also safe. While sportier bikes look appealing and can get up to top speeds, this could prove detrimental on the road. Find a bike that fits well at the moment and worry about speed and style once your teen has gotten the hang of riding.
There’s likely no scarier time in a parent’s life than when their teen finally decides they want to take a ride on a motorcycle. If you think your teen is mature enough to ride, be sure that you support them every step of the way so that they can make informed decisions and stay safe while on the road. The above tips should give you a good head start. For more information, consult with a motorcycle insurance company or your local DMV office.