Driving is something most teenagers look forward to doing. But for some, a passenger car just won’t do. They would rather have a motorcycle. How do parents know if their teen is ready? What does the teen need to know about safety? These are important considerations when deciding to let a teenager operate a motorcycle. Read on for some motorcycle safety tips.
Determining If a Teen Is Ready to Drive a Motorcycle
It is obviously more dangerous to operate a motorcycle than a motor vehicle. Motorcyclists have less protection in the event of a crash than do drivers of passenger vehicles. It’s critical that the teen is responsible and capable of handling a bike. There is also much more coordination and attention required to operate a motorcycle than a car.
Keep in mind that speeding is a major cause of motorcycle accidents involving teenagers, as it is a major cause of car accidents involving teens. It’s well known that teens tend to be riskier drivers. Your teen should understand that speeding carries even more risks when on a bike, especially given the lack of protection on a motorcycle.
With all that in mind, teens may be eligible for a motorcycle license before even graduating from high school. The first step is getting a learner’s permit. This is done after passing a written exam at a Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) testing center.
It’s recommended that the teen has at least 30 hours of practice, which must be done under the supervision of someone who has a valid motorcycle license. The person supervising must always have the teen in sight and be no more than a quarter mile from him/her. After taking the licensure test, the teen will receive a license if he or she passes.
Motorcycle Safety Tips for Teens: Wear a Helmet
All motorcycle operators and passengers are required to wear a helmet approved by the Department of Transportation (DOT) and Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) 218. For maximum protection, a full-face helmet is recommended.
Safety Tips for Teens: Wear Eye Protection
As with helmets, all operators and passengers must wear some type of eye protection, which may help keep out dirt, bugs and other matter that could cause injury or impede visibility. It should be noted that eye protection is required even if the motorcycle has a windscreen. The eyewear must meet ANSI Z87 standards.
Motorcycle Safety for Teens: Wear Protective Clothing
Teenagers like to make statements with what they wear. But when it comes to operating a motorcycle, the focus should be on protecting the body in the event of a crash. Wearing the right gear could avoid abrasive road rash injuries. This means covering arms and legs with heavy-duty jackets and pants, along with wearing gloves and boots.
Tips for Teens: Size Matters
It’s important to make sure the bike fits the operator. The teenager’s feet should touch the ground. The controls should be easy to see and easy to operate. And the bike shouldn’t be too heavy.
Motorcycle Safety Tips for Teens: Take a Motorcycle Driving Course
Teen or not, it’s recommended that motorcyclists take a training course. The New York Motorcycle Safety Program offers both basic and advanced training courses. Teens can learn important driving techniques and skills that may help avoid an accident.
What to Do in the Event of a Motorcycle Accident
Even after following all of these safety tips, riders (teens and adults) may still be at risk for a motorcycle accident. To learn about legal rights if your teenager was injured in a motorcycle crash, the next step is to seek legal counsel. An attorney will determine liability and options that may be available. Call Gacovino, Lake & Associates at 800-550-0000 to set up a consultation.