If your teenager edges a bit on the more daring side, do not be surprised if they show some interest in trading in their regular vehicle for a motorcycle instead. As a parent who perfectly understands the dangers that can come into play when you frequently travel on a bike, this may not be something that you want to hear. Even though you may not be able to talk a determined teenager into skipping out on the motorcycle, you can do your part to make sure they understand a few facts about safety.
1. The Same Helmet Laws for Adults Do Apply to Teens - Your teenager may have a whispy idea of riding into school on a bike with the wind whipping through their hair, but you should inform them that wearing a helmet is a must. All but three states in the United States have some type of helmet laws, either partially or universally. Plus, driving with no helmet can have fatal results in an accident. Additionally, you should teach your teen that novelty helmets that are not approved by the Department of Transportation provide little actual protection in a wreck.
2. Other Drivers Are Not Always Watching for Motorcycles - At least 56 percent of all motorcycle accidents with fatal outcomes involve a different and larger vehicle, such as a car or truck. In the majority of these cases, the motorcycle was struck in a head-on collision. The simple fact is, other drivers are not always as aware of people who are traveling on a motorcycle on the roadway with them and drivers have to stay alert to avoid a collision. Make sure your teen knows how to properly use lights and has equipment on the motorcycle that is working properly, such as flashers, mirrors, and brake lights. Teach your child about wearing reflective clothing when riding at night and various other things they can do to stay visible.
3. Riding a Motorcycle Too Fast Can Be Incredibly Dangerous - Teen motorcycle drivers are probably a little more likely to take risks when it comes to speed. Studies have actually shown that unsafe speed is actually the number one cause of motorcycle accidents caused by a teenage driver. Make sure you educate your teen motorcyclist about the dangers of driving over the speed limit.
As a parent, once your child hits a certain age, it can be difficult to sway their adamant decisions about some things, especially when it comes to what they drive. If your teen is ever injured in a motorcycle accident, be sure to talk to an attorney for guidance and advice. Contact a firm like Gelman Gelman Wiskow & McCarthy LLC for more information.