How to: Scooter Safety
Scooters can be a lot of fun and at the same time very dangerous. Did you ever wonder why motorcycles have loud engines? One very important reason is that cars can hear them coming. Scooters are not loud at all, so as scooter riders we lose that minor advantage. Even as loud as motorcycles are, they get into accidents constantly.
Scooters are also very small and difficult to see on the roads. Drivers do not look for anything but other cars! They will look right at you and through you. Any accident on a scooter is going to be bad. Wear a helmet, it saves lives. Theft of a scooter, is even easier than a big bike, because of the size. A scooter can easily be thrown in a back of a pickup and say goodbye to your little friend!
Here are some tips that may help you along the way:
1. Be loud!
Do not be afraid to use the horn on your scooter. It may not be a very loud horn, but it is piercing and will make a car driver aware of your presence. Don't only use it like a regular horn, use it to let people know you are there. Short beeps or whatever it takes, while near other vehicles, will give them a heads up that another vehicle is nearby. Get a better horn if needed.
Also, use your voice, yell if you have to! Drivers in a car not only have doors and windows between you and them but may also have music going or are just distracted. This is your life we are talking about, don't get angry, just make them aware you are there.
Also, stay out of any vehicles blind spot, use their mirrors to your advantage, make sure they see you!
If riding at night, use a headlight and wear reflective gear, assume no one ever sees a scooter, especially at night.
Do you wear a helmet when you ride?
2. Wear a helmet!
Do not let your appearance dissuade you from wearing a helmet. As a scooter rider, you may get into a scrape at some point. Give yourself every opportunity to come out of it safely. Even at 10mph, a blow to the head on pavement can kill you. So, wear a helmet!
Wearing riding gear is always a good idea too, picking gravel out of your butt sucks!
3. Right of way and cushion room.
As a scooter rider, always allow extra cushion room when dealing with cars. Allowing them the right of way, instead of forcing ahead of them is a good idea. Remember that cars take a long distance to brake to a stop, scooters do not have a lot of get up go sometimes. So, offering the right of way to the car is OK.
Using hand signals to direct traffic, is a good idea too. Wave cars on if needed.
4. Stay Alert!!!!
Always be paying attention to all your surroundings. Take note of every car on the road, be able to react in a split second! Check your intersections, even if the light is green, you never know when someone is going to run a red light. Stay focused on the road also, keeping an eye out for debris on the road or sand or anything that could make you spill.
Use your mirrors frequently, to see what is behind you. And check your blind spots.
Theft of scooters is fairly common and very easy for thieves. The scooter is very light and actually very easy to pick up and carry away. They do not even have to start it to get your scooter. So, parking in safe lighted spots is a good idea. A good chain and lock may stop the average thief, but if not locked to something, say goodbye. Use bike racks whenever you can, parking garages, or any other safe haven. Leaving a scooter unlocked to something is inviting theft. Don't worry about scratching up your scooter with your security, it's cheaper to touch up a scooter with a little paint than it is to buy a new one.
Most of all have fun! Scooters can save you money and be very enjoyable, just be safe. Ride responsibly, know your rules of the road, and always assume no one sees you, ever. Having the right gear and the right attitude could save your life. Just use your better judgment and all should be fine. Enjoy the ride!