Motorcycle safety for kids is especially important, as they are the future riders. We all know the enjoyment and pleasure that motorcycles bring to our lives- and bikes can do the same for kids. Still, young bodies are fragile and young minds are not always very wise! That’s why it’s important to consider special safety precautions when it comes to motorcycle safety for kids.
It is important to remember that safety begins at home, with the adult role models in the child’s life. If your son or daughter sees you ride carefully, obey the law, and ride with appropriate gear, it’s likely that they will grow to do the same. If they see you behaving recklessly, riding while angry or intoxicated, or failing to wear proper gear, they will likely follow your lead there as well.
One great way to start your child on a bike is through the Motorcycle Safety Foundation DirtBike School. This is a wonderful first start for any child, and doesn’t require you to buy a bike that may be stored away in the garage and ignored. Young riders learn on a variety of different bikes, and are trained by pros. Training includes proper safety precautions and guidelines.
Motorcycle Safety for Kids- What You Must Know
- Teach one thing at a time. Young minds are sponges and can take in a lot of information, but can get confused if you teach them too quickly. It’s best to separate instruction into different topics. For example, you might want to teach your child first about proper gear. This can include a trip to the bike shop to try different helmets and learn about proper fit. On a different day, you may teach your child how the bike operates, breaking each lesson down into manageable chunks.
- All the gear, all the time. Find a helmet that fits appropriately. It should fit snugly and have a chin-bar for added protection. The downside is that you will need to replace the helmet often as your child’s head grows. Proper clothing includes a heavy riding jacket, motorcycle pants (or heavyweight jeans), boots that rise above the ankle, and leather gloves. Even if your child is going to ride with you, they should have all this gear. If YOU need it to keep you safe, so do they! Never have your child ride in front of you, and be sure that your child is old enough to ride along with you securely. Also, some states have laws that require a child be of a certain age to ride with you.
- Start by having your child ride with you, around the block or just down the road. It’s important to remember that this is new to your child, and excess speed, winding roads, or hills may be overwhelming. It’s best to start very slowly: you can always build up later.
- Find a bike that is a proper fit. If you enroll in dirt bike school, there will be an array of different bikes. The child should be able to touch the ground. This is critical for both safety and control of the bike. Work with them carefully on balancing the bike when stopped. Do not move forward until they can adequately balance the bike at a stop.
- Teach children to master the clutch. This is the first major challenge for many bikers (young and old). Have them let the clutch lever out gradually to the point of friction when the bike starts to roll ahead. Have them hold it and let it out gradually.
- Keep the speed at low levels, very gradually increasing rates of speed. Carefully monitor control, the ability to stop, and maneuvering skills. Do not allow the child to increase speed until they are safe and secure at lower speeds. Obviously this helps the child remain safe, but it also keeps them feeling in control. A biker who feels in control of their bike is much more secure.
- Never, ever allow your child to ride unsupervised. Crashes do occur, even with experienced bikers. Utilize the buddy system at all times.
Ride safe, and exercise proper precautions to protect kids. Motorcycle safety for kids is paramount as they learn to love and respect bikes. If you are ever in a crash, remember you can talk to an experienced biker lawyer at any time at 1-800-MOTORCYCLE.