Most parents would never even consider letting their kids drive a motorcycle. But is it really such a bad idea? Provided you do it at the right time and in the right way, letting your kid ride a motorcycle can be a great experience that helps them build their confidence. So, when is the right time to let your kid ride a motorcycle? Read on to find out.
1. Motorcycle Lessons
The single most important thing you need to consider before letting your kid ride a motorcycle is whether or not they’re actually ready for the experience. When it comes to mastering any kind of skill, it’s crucial that children are taught the basics in a safe environment where they can make mistakes without serious consequences. While in most places a certain number of lessons is mandatory before getting their license, don’t hesitate to enroll your child for extra MTS rider training in order to be confident they know how to handle themselves on the road. Just like with driving a car, practice makes perfect when it comes to riding a motorcycle as well. The more your kid rides, the better they’ll become at it, and the safer they’ll be. You might even want to talk to their instructor to see how they’re progressing and whether they’re ready to start driving on their own.
2. Teaching Responsibility
The truth is, no matter how many lessons you get them, they simply won’t be enough if your teen doesn’t know how to handle their emotions suitably. It’s very important to teach your child responsibility in general, but especially before they start driving. This is because you want them to know that if something bad happens (whether it’s their fault or not), they’re the ones who will have to bear at least some of the consequences. Knowing that your teen will not only follow the traffic laws but also take good care of their bike and drive responsibly is vital. That means, making sure they’re mature enough to follow some ground rules as well as to resist peer pressure. A lot of younger people find bikes to be cool, but it’s important that your kid doesn’t feel the need to show off to their friends and try doing some tricks that could get them hurt. By allowing them to drive, you’re putting your trust in them to act a certain way, and you need to know that they’re responsible enough not to break that trust.
3. Establish Clear Rules
Establishing some rules for riding the bike can be a good idea as well. The rules need to be common sense ones that are easy for your child to follow. For example, you can let them use their motorcycle on weekends only (or certain days of the week), and make sure they always park it in a safe place when they get home. It might also be a good idea to restrict the times they get to ride a bike. Early in the morning and later in the evening when they are more likely to be distracted and harder to be seen on the road are not optimal times to ride. Also, teach them to wear protective gear whenever they get on their bike. This means making sure they always have a helmet and their leather boots with chaps that at least go up to their knees (when riding).
4. Educate Your Teen On Distracted Driving
One of the biggest dangers of riding a motorcycle is that it’s very easy to be distracted. This can be anything from talking to a friend while driving, to having your phone in your hand. And we all know how dangerous it can be to drive while distracted. According to the attorneys at atlantapiattorney.com/motorcycle-accidents/, most motorbike accidents happen due to distracted driving. It causes severe injuries to victims and sometimes can even be fatal.That’s why it’s so important to educate your teen on the dangers of distracted driving before they even get on a bike. This will help them be more aware of the risks involved and hopefully make better choices while they’re riding. While ideally, they won’t have their phone on them at all while driving, it’s important to stress that they should always find a safe place to park if they want to take a call or text someone. Similarly, if they’ve just been in a fight, or are going through some heightened emotions, they shouldn’t be riding until they calm down. This is because they might make rash decisions while riding and put themselves in harm’s way. Also, talk to them about how they should pass other cars when on their bike. Tell them not to take risks like speeding up when the car in front of them slows down or that it’s important to give the traffic behind them enough space.
5. Teach Your Child How To Identify Hazards
The number one thing that could prevent your child from driving safely is not knowing when or where to be extra cautious. For example, in some areas where there are deer roaming around, it’s important that your teen knows which roads to avoid when it’s dark. They should also know that road construction is often not properly marked and they could get hurt if they try crossing the road when the construction crew hasn’t put up any safety signs. Apart from that, different weather conditions can also be hazardous for motorcyclists. For example, when it’s raining, the roads become slippery and it’s a lot harder to stop or slow down. Similarly, wind can make it difficult to stay in control of the bike. That’s why it’s important that your kid knows how to ride in different weather conditions and be extra cautious when the weather is bad.
6. Bike Type
You need to choose the right bike for your child. If they’re just starting out, it’s best to opt for a smaller model that’s easy to handle and won’t intimidate them. As they get more comfortable with riding, you can gradually move them up to bigger bikes (if they ask for one). However, it’s probably best to keep it pretty tame while they’re in their teens. Even adult riders can sometimes find it hard to resist going as fast as their machine will let them, so it’s best to not give your kid that option. Something that can get them to where they need to go faster than a bicycle but not faster than the speed limit is perfect. Of course, as mentioned before, as your child grows and proves that they can be trusted as a driver, you can slowly start to let them have more control on the bike.
So, when is the right time to let your kid ride a motorcycle? It really depends on the child and how safe they feel when driving. You should never just hand over the keys and say “have at it!” but rather take things slow and let them progress as they’re ready. If you follow these tips, you’ll be able to teach your teen to ride a motorcycle safely and responsibly.