As a parent, you may dread the day your teenager is old enough to ride a motorcycle. Unless you have ridden one yourself, you may not appreciate the joy and freedom it can bring. If you have, though, you will know firsthand how dangerous it can be.
Motorcyclists often assume that drivers cause most motorcycle crashes. However, when teenage motorcyclists are concerned, it is different. According to the New York State Department of Health (NYSDH), teenage motorcyclists are at fault in two out of every three crashes they were involved in. The number one reason for crashes was going too fast.
How can I help my teen stay safe on a motorcycle?
Once your child mounts their motorcycle, there is only so much you can do. They need to take responsibility for their own safety. However, as a concerned parent, you can ensure they are as prepared as possible. For example:
- Enroll them in a training course: The New York State Motorcycle Safety Program (NYSMSP) offers a series of training courses from beginner to advanced. These can provide vital extra training.
- Ensure they have proper equipment: A quality, well-fitting helmet is essential. Padded jackets, trousers, gloves and appropriate boots can significantly reduce injuries in the event of a crash. They might seem expensive. Yet, they are much cheaper than the medical treatment they could prevent.
- Ensure the bike is well maintained: You do not need to be a mechanic. There are plenty of them who will check the motorcycle your child wishes to buy for a fee.
You can do nothing about other drivers or cyclists who could cause your child to be in a motorcycle crash. All you can do is help your teenage motorcyclist prepare for the realities of the road.