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Your teenager getting their license is both scary and exciting. You might find yourself sad that they are growing up and are likely worried for their safety on the road, but also happy that they’re finally gaining freedom. They are also starting a new chapter in their lives and learning how to be responsible. Plus, you don’t have to constantly chauffer them around anymore. SCORE!
Just when you’ve come to accept that your teen will be driving, they ask the dreaded question: “Can I have a motorcycle?” This is a big decision for parents to make, so ask yourself the following questions if this comes up.
Are They Skilled at Driving a Car?
If your teenager struggles driving a car, a motorcycle is not a good idea.
They should be aware of and follow all traffic rules. They should drive cautiously, avoiding reckless and dangerous actions. Motorcycles, after all, require much more focus, agility, and coordination.
Why Does Your Teen Want a Motorcycle?
Encourage your teen to be honest when answering this question. Do they just want one because their friend has one or they think it makes them cool? Did they get the idea after seeing stunts in action movies?
Surprisingly enough, there are real benefits in allowing your teen to get a motorcycle. They are often cheaper than cars. They also get better gas mileage and typically cause less damage to the environment.
If your teen has legitimate, respectable reasons for wanting a motorcycle, it might be worth it to take their request seriously.
How Responsible is Your Teen?
Your teen’s answer to the previous question can be a good indication of their level of responsibility.
You should also, however, consider other factors:
- Do they understand that there are consequences for poor choices?
- Are they patient? Do they have complete control over their emotions?
- Do they have a tendency to look for an adrenaline rush?
- Did they take the time to research motorcycles on their own?
- Will they let their friends drive their motorcycle?
These factors can be especially problematic if they don’t have the proper riding experience.
Do They Value Their Safety?
Motorcyclists should take certain precautions to keep themselves safe. Is your teen willing to always wear a helmet when driving? Do you trust them to abide by this rule?
Is your teen willing to take a motorcycle training course? Uneducated drivers are correlated with a high likelihood of motorcycle crashes. You should also make sure they understand the serious implications of driving under the influence.
You should also trust that your teen will wear the proper gear. Do you think they will make a point of wearing a vibrant and durable jacket? Will they wear long pants and shoes that cover their ankles? Will they wear non-slip gloves in the summer?
If your teen is concerned about sacrificing their sense of fashion, they aren’t mature enough for a motorcycle.
Other Drivers Are Out of Your Control
You should also recognize that some factors are just out of your control. Your teen could be the safest motorcyclist out there, but you can’t do anything about the other drivers on the road.
All you can do is make sure that your teen is prepared the best they can be in different kinds of situations.
It’s Your Decision
Even if your teen is paying for their vehicle, you have the final say in what they are allowed to drive. At the end of the day, you know them best.
If you don’t trust your teenager 100% with a motorcycle and know you will constantly worry about them on the road, a motorcycle is out of the question. Personally, I’d be worried about the safety of anyone riding a motorcycle. I told my husband a long time ago that was a no go for me.
Krystle Cook – the creator of Home Jobs by MOM – put her psychology degree on a shelf and dived into a pile of diapers and dishes instead. She is a wife and mother to two rambunctious boys, sweating it out in her Texas hometown. She loves cooking, DIY home projects, and family fun activities.