Scooter Safety: Ohio State Shares Ways To Stay Safe While ... in Worcester-Massachusetts

Published Sep 04, 23
5 min read

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With gas prices remaining high, consumers are trading in their automobiles in favor of gas-sipping scooters and mopeds, particularly in urban areas. Scooter sales were up 17% in 2011, and moped sales have experienced a similar rise. The number one reason first-time buyers cited for their purchase: to save money.

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However, there is one major drawback: safety. If you are considering a scooter as your primary means of transportation, there are some things you need to know. Some perks to scooters include the relatively low costs to purchase and operate them, their easy maintenance, and their slow depreciation value. However, because of their smaller size, a downside to operating a scooter is that they are hard to see by drivers of motor vehicles, especially in traffic.

Wear a DOT, ANSI, OR Snell-approved helmet which is designed with a hard outer shell and a retention system to protect the head and the brain in a variety of impacts. In 2006, 41% of those killed in crashes were not wearing a helmet. If your helmet is not equipped with a face shield, wear goggles or glasses with plastic lenses to protect your eyes against insects, wind, dirt, rocks, or other airborne matter.

Wear slip-resistant shoes, and always avoid wearing sandals, flip-flops, or shoes with laces. Ride with the flow of traffic. Obey the speed limits and never travel faster than your skill level or faster than the conditions allow. Know how to use hand signals and signal well before you make a turn or lane change.

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Avoid hitting road hazards, such as sharp bumps and holes in the road surface. These hazards can cause loss of control or damage. Be especially conscious of traffic from behind. Do not operate your scooter at night. The scooter is not equipped for ideal visibility in the dark or low light conditions.

How to ride an electric scooter safely: tips for staying safe on the road    T3How to ride an electric scooter safely: tips for staying safe on the road T3

If you ride at night, make sure you have a safety headlight for your scooter. Ride only on smooth hard surfaces. Motor scooters are not designed to be used in off road conditions. Use caution when rolling over obstacles. Avoid gravel or uneven roads. Do not allow the motorized scooter to be used in the rain, nor to be driven through puddles of water.

The scooter should be used by only one person at a time. Do not carry additional persons or items while riding. Do not put additional loads on the motor scooter by pulling or towing anything. Scooters must have a seat for highway use. Park so you do not block sidewalks, handicap and building accesses, or emergency drives.

Stop using the scooter immediately if any joint, hinge, or quick release becomes loose. Maintain proper air pressure in the tires. Low air pressure induces extra rolling friction, reduces ground clearance, and wears the tires more quickly. If the brake lever touches the handlebar grip, stop using the scooter until the lever is adjusted.

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Scooters, like those made by Vespa and Buddy, have different motor vehicle regulations and safety issues than their cousin the moped. Be sure to check with your state to learn which regulations and licensing requirements apply to the model you are considering. If you or a loved one has been injured on a scooter and you think you may need an attorney, please call us at 866-388-1307 for a free consultation.

Accidents happen, and as such, are also subject to data collection with various countries' departments of transport as well as other institutions. One study done by Consumer Reports shows that the most common accidents are inexperienced riders not wearing helmets which amounted to 33% of the head injuries. Of those surveyed, 83% were accidents not caused by a collision but falls.

The main problem, or challenge, with e scooter users is the attitude of the average rider. It seems people think there is no need to be wary and they treat it like a toy. Hop on and get going. We never let our kids learn to ride a bike that way.

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The electric scooter needs as much attention if not more. Smaller wheels are not like riding a bike. They might catch you out on a pothole. In the wet, you will have a longer braking distance and it is easier to get into a slide than on a bike f.

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Stay focused is probably the best tip apart from always wearing a helmet. Pedestrians and other traffic participants might not hear or see you as well as you think. Most people probably hop on and just get going. Don't be like most people. Be smarter. A short pre-ride check to avoid accidents is easy to do.