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Sunday, January 10, 2016

Your Child wants to Ride a Motorcycle: How to Protect them and You!

My kids are far from teenage-hood, and far from the age that I even have to begin worrying about these types of things, but for those who are in that chapter of life, I hope you enjoy this guest post by Nancy Evans.

It's stressful enough to think about the first time your child gets behind the wheel of the family vehicle, but imagine how you'd feel when your little darling tells you they want to start riding a motorcycle. Your first thoughts are probably about studded leather vests, handlebar mustaches, and husky bikers named Sue. I'm sure that many parents would be in the same boat on this one; having said that, while nothing is ever 100% safe and we can't hold on to our kiddos forever, we can do something to alleviate the stress.


Insurance

Nobody wants to think about worse case scenarios, but in the rare instance that your child is involved in an accident, you need to be properly insured and not just because it is required by law. Companies such as Acceptance Insurance offer motorcycle insurance policies such as basic liability and comprehensive coverage. Basic liability provides coverage for expenses of the other party if your child is at fault. They include repairs to the other vehicle, as well as, medical and other related expenses.

Furthermore, while in some states, liability coverage may be all you require, it's not prudent or frugal just to have liability. For repairs to your child's motorcycle bike and coverage for theft, vandalism, and even fire; you need comprehensive coverage. And while I'm talking about insurance, check out my post about saving money on homeowner's insurance.

Safety Equipment

The most important part of riding a motorcycle safely is the protective gear. Bumps and scrapes are more likely to happen when riding a motorcycle so you need to ensure that your child is properly equipped. Now, in the USA, a helmet is the only item legally required; however, at the very least, you need to procure a helmet with face protection, riding gloves, and a motorcycle jacket.

A helmet needs to have a snug fit. Do not purchase a helmet that is your child can grow into. A helmet that is too big provides little to no protection in the event of an accident. I strongly encourage you to purchase a full-face helmet that protects both the face and the head.

Motorcycle gloves and jackets are important because they protect from abrasions in the event of an accident. A writer/rider friend of mine had a friend involved in an accident with a dog; the dog's owner wasn't paying attention and the dog jumped out in front, causing them to swerve away, losing control and falling off their bike. The jacket was made of leather and Kevlar; the jacket was damaged but the material so strong that my friend's friend had no scratches or scrapes of any kind. They would not have been so lucky if they had been wearing a regular jacket.

Learn to Drive Properly

Of course, this goes without saying, but it bears repeating; ensure your child learns to ride a motorcycle properly. Having a family member show them the ropes of riding isn't good enough. You need to enroll them in a program with certified instructors that teach them how to ride properly and safely. Knowing your child is learning the proper and safe way to drive will probably do more to alleviate your stress than anything else.

The thought of your child riding a motorcycle may give you chills, but there are ways to give yourself peace of mind: insurance, proper safety equipment, and learning the proper way to ride. The combination of these three items won't alleviate all your stress—your children will always find new ways to stress you out—but it will certainly help.

See my disclaimer.

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