As a mom who rides motorcycles occasionally, the thrill of riding the bike cannot be avoided. It is easy when you are not married, but it becomes tough when you have kids on board.
Contrary to popular belief, motorcycling with kids can be safe, as long as you understand the underlying risks and take the necessary precautions.
You can’t avoid the proposition to take your child on the bike, and it will come sooner than you think. If it isn’t your kid, you might be confronted with the question from a relative or a neighbour’s kid. Unfortunately, many female bikers don’t think it through before they place the kid on the bike.
We are here to make sure this doesn’t happen to you.
Let us look at a typical scenario that is common on our streets. A motorcyclist is riding down the street with one kid sitting in front, and another at the back. Both kids are wearing helmets five sizes too big, though grinning ear to ear, and trying hard to hold onto the bike as it cruises down the street.
Several scenarios arise from these. First, the kid interferes with the control of the bike, because he keeps on shifting. Secondly, if you must stop quickly, you might have to grab the child quickly with one hand while controlling the bike with the other. At this point, anything can happen – the kid might fall off the bike, or you might lose control and crash. Worse still, you might ram into an oncoming vehicle.
Panic stopping has various results. If you decide to hold onto the bike, the kid flies through the air, and since the helmet is several sizes too big, it comes off. What follows next is for you to imagine. In case of motorcycle accidents, you need to get compensated.
This is the main reason why you need to follow some tips to stay safe on the road while riding with your kids.
1. Get Prepared Early Enough
If you love bikes, then you need to prepare yourself and your kid as well. Your kid will be able to ride with you when his feet reach the passenger pegs. The first gear you need is the helmet. You can get the right size from your regular biking accessories shop.
You want a full-coverage helmet that has a chin bar, preferably with hard foam in the shell. The helmet should fit snugly so that you are sure it stays put during a crash. It doesn’t stop here; you need to graduate the helmet as the kid grows.
Anytime you ride with a kid, make sure the helmet is strapped snugly. The kid might complain at first, but let them know the importance of the helmet and why it should remain fastened all the time.
Hint: Don’t go for anything less than a full-face helmet with a secure chin bar, because facial scars in children can be as bad as a head injury.
Apart from the helmet, the kid also needs other apparel such as a jacket, boots and knee guards.
2. Make Sure the Kid is Positioned Safely
Now that the kid has the proper gear, the next thing is to decide how the kid will ride. Placing the kid in front of you is dangerous, due to the reasons already discussed. Additionally, it is hard for the kid to hold onto you due to his short arms. The simplest solution is to use a belt to hold the kid to you.
3. Understand the Local Laws
You need to understand the laws that govern biking in the state, and in the locality. Talk to the traffic department to know what is the minimum age to allow the kid on the bike, the safety regulations and more. Doing this makes sure you stay within the rules.