Motorcyclists are more vulnerable to injuries on the road due to the relative lack of protection compared to drivers. There is great concern for the safety of motorcyclists on our roads. Among all road users, motorcyclists and pillion riders comprise a large group that is involved in fatal road accidents. Not only do motorcyclists need to be riding safe, they are also responsible for the lives of their pillion riders.
For a start, as a motorcyclist, you should ensure that your pillion rider follow the following rules:
- Wear an approved helmet. Helmets will have to conform to the Singapore Standards, SS9:2014. An approved helmet should be affixed with a “TUV SUD PSB Test” label.
- It is illegal to have a child under 10 years of age as a pillion rider
While many might attribute the safety of riding to motorcyclists, there are also ways for pillion riders to be safe on the road as well. Contrary to common belief, being a pillion rider is not intuitive and need some tips and getting used to.
Here are a few tips on how you can contribute to road safety as a pillion rider:
While the law only requires an approved helmet, the attire of pillion riders should still follow some safety rules. Bare skin isn’t great so covering up with protective jackets or appropriate pants would be better.
Not all pillion riders know that they should lean with the bike and rider. Riders should let their pillion know before riding off. You should also not lean back since this can affect the balance for the rider.
Fidgeting or large movements when riding can be unsettling for the motorcyclist or even lead to tumbling.
Pillion riders should hold on to the motorcyclist or onto the grab-rail. This will help to bring your weight forward and help the motorcyclist balance, especially when leaning into corners.
Ask the motorcyclist about where your feet should be. There is usually a hot exhaust pipe next to when you will place your feet so you should take care to avoid it. This is also a reason why wearing pants gives you an extra layer of protection against bare skin.
You should only mount or dismount when your motorcyclist is ready. This is when they have both their feet firmly on the ground, and both hands on their handle bars.
Riding with a pillion can make a difference for the motorcyclist as well. The extra weight of carrying a pillion rider can have a dramatic effect on the way your motorcycle handles. For instance, braking will require extra distance and it can be harder to balance at low speed. Motorcyclists will need to ride more carefully with these differences in mind.
Depending on how experienced your pillion is, he or she may be scared easily with sudden acceleration, leaning or braking so try to make smoother gear shifts to reduce the likelihood of helmet clashes.
Before starting your ride, speak with your pillion about hand signals or gestures to use for communication. Speaking while riding, especially if the rider turns his head to the side can be distracting and dangerous. As much as possible, speak when the motorcycle is at a standstill, such as when there’s a red light.
Are pillion riders covered under motorcycle insurance? The good news is yes! In Singapore, all motorcycle owners would need to have a basic Third-party only (TPO) motorcycle insurance to ride on the roads. Even with this basic insurance, it will cover the financial cost for an injury to someone else in an accident. Unfortunately, because it is the most basic, it does not offer coverage for any damage to the motorcycle.
DirectAsia also rewards safe motorcyclists with more discount on their motorcycle insurance premiums! If you’ve held NCD20 for two or more consecutive years, you qualify for NCD30 as a reward for safe riding! Find out more about our affordable motorcycle insurance today!