Published: June 2015
Many people enjoy motorcycling alone, but sometimes bringing along a spouse or friend is a great way to enjoy the ride together. Riders should be aware, however, that there are certain risks associated with hopping onto the back of a bike.
Before you take a friend or family member's life (literally) into your own hands by inviting them to ride on the back of your motorcycle, it is essential that you both take safety precautions and have proper motorcycle insurance in case of an accident.
Proper motorcycle coverage can help protect you and your passengers if you are at fault or another driver causes an accident. Guest passenger liability may help provide medical coverage for any injuries to passengers on the back of the bike while you are steering. It's important to realize, however, that guest passenger liability typically will not apply if you (the insured) is not liable for injury to the passenger. But, medical payments coverage applies regardless of fault.
This coverage may be included as part of your bodily injury liability coverage, but in some states it may be an additional, optional coverage.
In addition, motorcycle riders may want to consider uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage to help provide coverage if an uninsured or underinsured motorist is liable for injury to the insured and his/her passenger.
Protection is essential for you and your passenger when you're on the road. Here are four tips for staying safe when riding your bike:
- Make sure you and your passenger wear proper protective gear. Even if your state does not require helmet use, you may consider helmets for you and your passenger to maximize safety.
- Keep your motorcycle properly maintained, including tires, to reduce accidents caused by faulty equipment. Consider using apps like the Good Ride app to track your bike's maintenance and get reminders when it's time to head to the shop.
- Wear bright colors and/or reflective gear, suggests the Motorcycle Safety Foundation. One of the reasons for the high number of motorcycle accidents is that motorcycles can be hard to see, especially in the rain or at night.
- Check social tools like the Rider Risk Map, a Facebook app, before heading on a ride to determine if your route has any known hazards for motorcycles, such as blind curves and dangerous intersections.
Talk with your insurance agent to determine the right coverage for your situation.