Scooters and mopeds afford people with mobility issues a sense of independence and freedom. Scooters and mopeds eclipse the effectiveness and facility of manual wheelchairs and walkers to provide comfort and convenience despite user handicaps. For that reason, scooters and mopeds are fast becoming one of the most popular devices today, used by the young and old alike.
A sudden rise in popularity, coupled with the lack of safety information going around, has led to an increase in scooters and mopeds-related accidents. Scooters and mopeds are a recent invention, and many people haven’t had the time or opportunity to acquaint themselves with its proper rules of usage and safety. Whether you’re looking to buy a scooter online, or already have one, reading and understanding these simple pointers will lead the way to a safe and productive time with your scooters or mopeds.
Choose a scooter or moped for your needs
The first question you should ask before getting a scooter or moped is: Am I capable of operating one? Consult your doctor or physical therapist to check if you can safely drive a scooter. Basic requirements for operation include good visual and auditory acuity, concentration, coordination, upper body strength and balance. Do not lie about your abilities. You’ll not only be endangering yourself, but the people around you would also be exposed to unnecessary danger as well.
Train and practice
Practice makes perfect, and what is true for most talents is true for scooter driving. You need to practice regularly and get used to the feeling of moving around with a scooter or a moped. Focus on your safety as well as the wellbeing of the people around you. Read up on common traffic signs so that you’d prepared when you’re outdoors.
Make sure drivers and pedestrians can see you from a distance. It’s not enough to paint your scooter or moped a bright color. Add lights and reflective strips in strategic places around your scooter or mobed to ensure maximum visibility, especially at night. Make sure you can be seen from every side and angle.
Obey the rules
Check whether it is allowed within your jurisdiction to operate scooters and mopeds in public. There also might be additional laws and ordinances regulating the use of scooters and mopeds. Research about local speed limits and make sure to follow them. No exceptions.
Have your scooter or moped regularly inspected by an authorized technician. A simple checklist to follow: the lights are functioning, the battery is charging, the tires are correctly inflated, electronics are in excellent condition, and the safety features are working. Cultivate a good working relationship with a professional technician you trust to assure regular and easy access to maintenance and repair.
Wear a helmet
People have died from accidents involving a scooter or a moped, and head injuries are the most common cause. Ride your scooter with peace of mind by wearing a sturdy helmet, especially when outdoors.
Assume everyone can’t see you
Yes, you’ve covered your scooters or mopeds with reflective strips and lights, but that does not ensure against collisions from other people. Always be aware of your surroundings especially when there are a lot of cars and people around. Make eye contact with drivers and pedestrians.
Keep off the roads
Roads are for vehicles. A scooter, like it or not, is not a vehicle. Stick to the sidewalk whenever possible. Driving on the road with the general traffic is a recipe for disaster.
Use pedestrian crossings
When you need to cross the street, only do so at a correctly marked and designated pedestrian crossing. Attempting to cross the street willy-nilly can take motorists by surprise, and they may hit you.
Get to know your neighborhood
You can trace the most convenient and safe routes using online maps. Keep in mind the locations of curb ramps and pedestrian crossings, as well as streets without sidewalks so you’d know when and where to avoid them.
Scooters and mopeds help you get back some of the freedom and sense of stability you had when you enjoyed full mobility. You may not be as mobile as you were then, but that won’t keep you from being out and frequenting the places you love and enjoy. Having a scooter or moped help reestablish a sense of normalcy and routine in your life.
You’re probably going to use a scooter or a moped almost every day, and it’s your duty and responsibility to read and understand proper and safe scooter operation. Easier movement is not your top priority, safety is. It may be easy to get carried away by the newfound independence a scooter gives, that’s why it’s important to be mindful of your safety as well as of the others around you.