June 30th, 2015
It's summer and time to get outside! As holiday weekends and summer vacations approach, more motor scooters and mopeds will be on America's roadways, and coupled with that - possible hazards. Many moped drivers will be inexperienced riders who are renting the bike to tool around town during their visit to a new city.
Here are four safety tips for both scooter and moped riders to stay accident free on the road this summer and keep their motorcycle insurance rates low:
1. See and be seen
Visibility is key when it comes to smaller and slower motorbikes. Riders should wear reflective clothing and gear, according to Consumer Reports - or at least bright clothing, during both day and night.
Always make use of your scooter or moped's lights even during the day and never make a turn without switching on your directional signals. To be doubly cautious, using hand signals along with your lights is the best way to stay safe, according to the Motor Vehicle Administration for Maryland.
Before hitting the open road, check to make sure your headlight, brake lights and turn signals are all in working order.
2. Blind spots
Once out on the streets, keep out of cars' and trucks' blind spots and especially do not bob and weave through traffic.
Like driving a car, a lot of scooter and moped drivers will be in the habit of looking over their shoulders before making a turn or pulling out of a parking spot. However, motorbikes are very different especially since you won't have a metal or fiberglass frame covering your body. Since some mopeds have only an average maximum speed of 40 mph, a lot of cars and trucks will be whizzing by you, which might make you turn your head to see incoming traffic. Take it from Yahoo Travel editor Brittany Jones Cooper and never look back. Instead make good use of your rearview mirror and keep your eyes on the road ahead.
2. Head safety
Always wear a helmet no matter how far you are going, whether just down the road or a few miles.
3. Keep it on the road
Having only two wheels means your motorbike won't hug the pavement nearly as much as a four-wheeled vehicle will. So keep your eyes peeled for debris in the road as well as any bumps, potholes or anything else that might cause you to be knocked off your scooter or moped. According to Consumer Reports' safety tips, even sand, rocks and wet leaves can cause havoc. Stay alert and keep your hands on the handlebars and your legs on the motorbike's floorboards.
4. Beginner's tips
On a motorbike, your hands - not your feet - control the speed, so make sure you have your throttle and brake system memorized before riding out into traffic.
Otherwise, take it slow when setting off on your first ride. Ease into turns, obey all traffic signals and laws and have fun.
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