The area around Asheville is legendary for its beauty, so it is no surprise that plenty of people like to take to their motorcycles and enjoy it on two wheels. Not only is motorcycling a fun solo activity, but it is also possible to take a passenger along for the ride.

Riding a motorcycle as a passenger is exhilarating, but understanding how to stay safe and best practices is a must. According to Motorcycle Habit, the most important thing a passenger can do is wear appropriate safety gear.

What safety gear should a passenger have?

For maximum safety, both driver and passenger should be wearing the same amount of safety gear. This includes a Department of Transportation-approved helmet, an armored motorcycle jacket, long pants and ankle-covering shoes.

It is not uncommon to see passengers riding a motorcycle with nothing on but shorts and flip-flops. This is extremely dangerous. In many motorcycle crashes, the passenger ends up with worse injuries than the motorcycle driver, because the driver has better gear.

What else should a passenger do?

Keep in mind that your movement is going to be much more limited as the passenger on a motorcycle as compared to being a passenger or a driver in a traditional vehicle. Any movement on your part could potentially unbalance the motorcycle and lead to a fall.

Having a comprehensive communication system with your driver is also important. Some motorcyclists do have audio hookups on the bike or bluetooth communication sets for this purpose, but if not, coming up with a hand signal system to communicate when you want to stop is very important. A simple “thumbs up, thumbs down” can do the trick easily.