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The next time you see someone driving a motorcycle on the highway in bad weather, consider “adopting” them. No, this doesn’t mean enrolling in any program or donating funds to charity. It’s simpler than that. What’s more, it could save the rider from serious injury or even death.

How do you “adopt a biker?”

The term is used when the driver of a car posts up behind a motorcycle at a safe distance. The driver takes note of the biker’s lowered speed and careful operation and “supports” the biker until they exit the highway.

Typically, the passenger car will maintain a “protective” distance to prevent other vehicles from tailing the biker. Adopting a biker can also prevent other cars from performing weave maneuvers that could increase the risk of an accident. It’s reverse-escorting, really.

Two motorcycle riders driving towards camera from a distance followed by a passenger car with "curvy road" icon sign in foreground, raining
Toa55 via iStock

The gesture is most commonly used in inclement weather. This can include rain or high winds. In these cases, the biker has been forced to slow down, possibly below the posted speed limit. This is to avoid slip risk or reduce problems with visibility at higher speeds.

However, in doing so, surrounding cars often don’t register the biker’s conundrum. Instead, cars might continue at posted speed limits or weave around the biker. This behavior increases fall or crash risk for everyone close by.

There’s a good clip below of how one driver chose to adopt a biker in rainy conditions. The original TikTok has been viewed almost 150,000 times and is full of comments from other bikers thanking the poster for sharing.

If you aren’t comfortable adopting a biker, just being more aware of what they might be experiencing in less-than-deal weather conditions can help. As always, rushing is never the answer in bad weather, especially with motorcycles present.