You and your child can both safely enjoy the ride with proper protection and knowledge. By taking simple steps to ensure safety, you two will have a fun ride.
- A proper fit helmet. It might seem obvious that your child needs to wear a helmet, however, a proper fit is key. A loose helmet can fall off during an accident, according to motorcyclecruiser.com. A proper fit should fit comfortably; not too loose or too tight. In Wisconsin, a helmet is required for anyone under 18. To see if your children need to wear a helmet and other motorcycle laws, check with your local law enforcement group or the American Motorcycle Association.
- Protective Clothing. It’s also important to dress your children in protective clothing. Several leather companies have started to sell children’s sizes. According to whybike.com having your children properly dressed means “they have long pants (denim or chaps), long sleeves (denim and leather jackets work best), full finger gloves, good sturdy shoes, and a properly fitted D.O.T. helmet.” Proper eye protection such as sunglasses helps prevent damage from the sun. Tip : According to whybike.com polycarbonate plastic lenses are the most shatter-resistant. Also look for sunglasses that block 99% to 100% of both UVA and UVB.
- Children ride behind. Another important aspect of riding with your child is having them ride behind you. It can be dangerous for your child to ride in front because they don’t have a safe place to hold on to and they also can slide off easily during an accident according to motorcyclecruiser.com. One solution is to purchase a belt that fits around the rider and has handholds for the passenger. There are several models to choose from and allow your child to hold on with ease.
- Communicate. Knowing when to let your children ride should be made with an informed decision. According to the American Motorcyclists Association, the decision should be made with your head; not your heart. Also talk to your children to see if they are ready and to discuss any concerns. Riding with your children can become bonding for the two of you, but it is important not to rush. Many parents will wait until their child can reach the foot pedals before taking them on a ride. An introduction to what they can expect followed by a brief ride will allow you both to make a more informed decision.
The most important part of your ride with your child is keeping your baby safe. Be sure to visit the American Motorcyclist Association and click on “state laws” to find the motorcycle laws in your state. AND watch out for idiot inattentive drivers!