Being stuck in traffic for hours on end has led many to resort to riding motorcycles as a means to save precious time.
Clear cases of "ride or die," or the so-called habal-habal services have sprouted like mushrooms in commercial and business districts. Although considered illegal by Metro Manila local government units, they continue to be patronized by hapless commuters looking for quick transport.
App-based motorcycle taxi services like Uber Rider, Grab Bike and the latest addition, GoBounce!, are also increasing in number—with even executives clad in business attire beginning to patronize them.
With the advent of tandem riding here in the Philippines, it's vital that both rider and passenger consider safety as the top priority when moving from point A to B. Here are a few safety tips tandem riders should always keep in mind.
1. Make sure there are sturdy foot pegs for the passenger before he or she mounts on the rear seat of the motorbike.
2. If there’s no grab rail, the passenger must hold on to the waist of the rider for better stability and balance.
3. If the rider feels awkward being hugged on the belly or shoulders, the passenger may instead hold on to the grab rail at the tail of the motorbike.
4. It is important that the passenger must follow the leaning angle of the rider’s body when negotiating a curve.
5. The rear passenger must avoid side seating. Seating with both feet secured on the two pegs gives the back rider better stability and balance.
6. The rider’s body must be kept close to that of the passenger’s to maintain the balance at the center of the motorbike.
7. The rider should establish communication with the passenger to determine if he or she’s okay and comfortable or experiencing problems while the motorbike is in motion.
8. The passenger should always keep his or her knees tucked inward, gripping the waist of the rider, to avoid being hit by an oncoming vehicle.
9. Just like the rider, the passenger should always wear closed toe shoes for maximum protection.
10. Avoid placing a big bag in between the rider and passenger because it can cause discomfort to the former.
Although there is no official available data to back this claim, road safety advocates observed that rear passengers have larger number of fatalities compared to the rider in motorcycle-related road accidents.
Seasoned riders explained that the one holding the handle bar has total control of the motorcycle and has a clear grasp of the situation. On the other hand, the rear passenger has no idea of what’s happening so he or she has no other choice but to hold on to dear life.
Again, it’s always best to be safe than sorry.