Group Riding: Protect Your Safety & Your Legal Rights

Aug 17, 2012 View Comments by

Group riding is part of a biker’s way of life. Whether you’re heading to a bike night, rally, or on a cross-country road trip with friends, you still need to keep safety a top priority. Not only will it help you avoid being injured in an accident, but it will also help protect your legal rights if you’re involved in a collision with a car or another motorcycle.

Tips for Riding in a Group

  • Arrive with a full tank of gas, having checked your bike beforehand. Always be sure your brakes, signals, headlight, etc. are working properly.
  • Meet with your group before you head out. Discuss the route, rest stops, hand signals, and plans in case of an emergency.
  • There should be a lead and tail rider for each group. They should be experienced and know the route you plan to take.
  • Your group should have 5-7 riders. If you have a large group, ride in sub-groups. Each sub-group should have its own lead and tail rider.
  • At least one rider in each group or sub-group should pack a cell phone, first-aid kit, and full tool kit. Every rider should store a “just in case card” in a storage compartment on their motorcycle. The card should list emergency contact information, current medicines and medical conditions, and insurance information.
  • Follow the formation for group riding. The leader rides in the left third of the lane. The next rider stays at least one second behind in the right third of the lane. The rest of the group follows the same pattern, following in a single-file formation when on a curvy road or in potentially dangerous riding situations. Ride 3-5 seconds behind a rider when riding single-file.
    • Use the group riding hand signals recognized by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation, which will allow you to communicate with other riders while you’re on the road.
  • Don’t ride directly next to another rider.
  • If you’re not the tail rider, check your rear-view mirrors occasionally to make sure the other riders are still behind you.

Many group riders are seasoned bikers, but no matter how long you’ve been riding a motorcycle it’s important to keep motorcycle safety a priority. It will help you prevent injuries, but it also will protect your legal rights. No biker wants to be in an accident— especially one that involves another biker who could be a friend or family member. Avoiding an accident also means avoiding insurance company hassles, unnecessary legal hassles, and threats to your financial security.

Tags: , , Categories: Touring & Safety Tips

About the author

I have over 45 years of experience helping injury victims. My Pennsylvania-based law firm, Edgar Snyder & Associates, has represented hundreds of bikers and am active in the biker community. The Edgar Snyder & Associates’ Harley-Davidson makes appearances at bike nights and rallies throughout the riding season.