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The Complete Guide to Pillion Rider Safety on a Long Bike Journey

By Juhi Walia
03 August 2022, 10:40 AM

Bikes are one of the preferred modes of transport for many people who want to experience some adventure while traveling on the road. It is especially true during the summer holidays when the scorching heat makes us want to experience a cooler climate. Your inner explorer would keep itching you for a tour to the nearest hill station to feel the cool temperature and witness many marvels of that place. An absolute fun it will be for sure.

But wait! What could be more fun than riding alone on an adventure to the hill station? You guessed it right! Riding with a pillion rider. Twice the riders, twice the fun quotient. 

However, by opting to take on the journey with a pillion rider, the ride may be fun, but it significantly increases the risk quotient too. Statistics show that 143 pillion riders died between January and December 2020. Of the 143 pillion riders, only nine were wearing a helmet.

Of course, this data also suggests that the mortality rate was significantly higher among the pillion riders who chose not to wear helmets.

Research suggests that the odds are always stacked against you when you choose to hit the road with a pillion. So, as responsible riders, we have to do whatever we can to reduce accidents to a minimum.

Here are a few ways we could protect the pillion riders during a long ride.

Always Wear a Helmet

Irrespective of a long or short drive, always wear a helmet. One can never be too sure about complete safety on the road. Numerous lives have been lost due to head injuries in road accidents. Additionally, issues such as memory loss, inattentiveness, loss of prolonged concentration, trouble thinking creatively, problems regulating emotions, and increased depression and anxiety could arise due to minor head traumas. 

Most people complain about the discomfort the helmet causes, as it restricts their range of motion. A helmet is similar to a seatbelt in a car. However, there have been a lot of advancements in helmet technology, so the ones available now are pretty light and sturdy. 

Full-face helmets cover not just the head but also the chin and the mouth area. This is the best form of protection available, covering the whole head except for a narrow opening around the eyes for ventilation.

Obey Traffic Rules

Traffic rules are meant to help us save ourselves and others from potential injury. The most common reason for violating traffic laws is that people are not adequately educated on the traffic laws themselves. In a hurry to get their students the prized driving license, there are chances that driving schools skip out on fundamental safety education. 

Another reason for such a gross violation of the traffic laws is that the law itself is very lenient on the violator. Even though the potential fine amount is low enough, thinking about fines doesn't scare the violators. 

Finally, some people have been breaking traffic laws for so long that it has become a habit. If we were to obey the traffic rules and learn them properly, we could avert most of the potential accidents, thus saving our pillion riders.

Avoid Erratic Movements

Unlike four-wheeler vehicles, the bike heavily relies on the rider's balance. So, there are a lot of senses that need to be active while riding a two-wheeler compared to a car. The pillion rider's sudden movement could startle you. It could be fatal if such manoeuvres occur when your vehicle is between two trucks. 

Ensure the Pillion Rider is Covered by Your Bike Insurance

The faster the vehicle is, the more dangerous it becomes. Though many accidents can be easily handled with first aid, some could be fatal. The three most common causes of accidents are speeding, alcohol, and lack of a helmet. They could lead to severe damage, including brain injuries. They may even lead to the death of the driver or other people.

Thinking two steps ahead and getting good coverage would go a long way. In unfortunate circumstances, your comprehensive bike insurance policy would adequately cover the medical expenses.

The Final Word

Though the decision to take your bike on an adventure trip with a pillion might be exciting, it carries many risks. The only way to ensure safety is to buckle up, wear a helmet, and follow all traffic rules. Get adequate bike insurance to cover you and your pillion rider for any eventuality.

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1. Does bike insurance cover the pillion rider in case of an accident?

The pillion rider's coverage depends on the bike insurance you choose. This usually comes as an add-on you will need to purchase beyond the charges for the third-party bike insurance and personal accidental cover. You can get this rider added over a comprehensive bike insurance policy too.

2. Is there any fine for not wearing a helmet?

Most major cities in India have implemented fines to make wearing helmets mandatory. The penalties usually range from INR 500 to INR 2000, depending on your city.

3. Do two-wheelers need any adjustments for carrying a pillion along?

If a person is carrying a pillion, the concerned individual must ensure the pillion's clothing items don't get stuck in the wheel or cover the turn or tail lights. 

4. Does the rider need to change his riding style while carrying a pillion?

The rider will need to focus on braking and acceleration, as sudden brakes or acceleration would make the pillion rider lose control or balance.

5. What can riders do when a pillion rider is injured?

Try giving first aid and immediately call the ambulance number.

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