Perhaps your teenage daughter wants to go on a ride with her boyfriend. Maybe your adolescent son is begging to hitch a ride with his uncle. Before you give the green light, here are four facts you should know about passengers riding motorcycles in Maryland:

Not All Riders Can Have Passengers

Not everyone who is allowed to ride a motorcycle is allowed to have a passenger. A motorcycle permit does not allow the operator to carry passengers—only a full motorcycle license does. Similarly, not all operators are experienced enough to carry passengers. Because riding with a passenger does require some changes in technique, only experienced riders should attempt to travel with passengers.

Not All Bikes Are Equipped for Two

Some motorcycles are simply not intended for more than one rider. Typically, a motorcycle with room for two people will have extra foot pegs intended for the passenger, as well as an extra-large seat. Other motorcycles will need to be adjusted in order to accommodate the additional weight of a second person. Simple adjustments may need to be made to the motorcycle’s suspension or tire pressure before a passenger is allowed.

Passengers Need Helmets Also

It’s not just the law for motorcycle operators. It’s the law for anyone on a motorcycle, and that includes passengers. If you want to carry passengers on your motorcycle, or if you’re hoping to hitch a ride with a friend on his or her bike, you must have enough helmets for everyone riding. Make sure that the helmet is a proper size for the passenger too. An ill-fitting helmet will offer little help in an accident.

Passengers Alter Technique

As mentioned before, a motorcycle operator will need to change his or her riding technique somewhat when carrying passengers. Specifically, the additional weight of a second person—even a small one—will create the need to brake sooner and take turns more slowly. It will also increase wind resistance.

We invite you to check out our blog for more helpful information on motorcycle riding in Maryland.