SCOOTER SAFETY: STAYING VISIBLE IN TRAFFIC
March 31, 2017 - Filed under: Safety
If you use a scooter for transportation, you are not alone. Scooters are a fun and economical form of transportation. Scooters are also environmentally friendly, which means you won't leave a big carbon footprint on the planet. However, scooters do fall into a category much like bicycles and motorcycles where they aren't as likely to be noticed by car drivers. It is often not entirely the fault of the other driver, but also relates to how the brain and eyes work together. To address this problem, you should do everything you can to make yourself more visible so you will be noticed by other drivers.
Ride With Traffic
You are riding a motorized vehicle, so you need to adhere to the rules of the road. This include riding with traffic. You need to stay in a place in the lane so you will be noticed and stand out. Don't stay over near the curb or cut around cars in bike lanes. Instead, place yourself in the center of the lane to let drivers know that you are there and holding your own spot in traffic.
When you are riding your scooter on the road, you don't want to weave and out of traffic. If you are weaving, drivers don't know where you are headed and you are much likely to not be noticed and be hit. Instead, stay visible in the lane so you will be noticed by drivers as they maneuver on their way.
Ride at a Safe Speed
Most scooters won't travel at excessively high rates of speed, but you need to travel at a safe speed. Pedestrians might not see your scooter and they are quiet, so you need to make sure you can stop fast enough if a pedestrian steps out in front of you. Be prepared for pedestrians or animals entering your path because either can cause a crash if you don't get stopped in time.
Fluorescent Clothing and Gear
You need to stand out in the crowd. One way to do so is by wearing fluorescent clothing or a brightly colored helmet. Traditional colors such as blue, black, brown, or gray just blend in with the surroundings. You want to go with hot pink, lime green, neon yellow, or orange so drivers will see you. These colors can definitely make a difference when you are out and about.
Riding After Dark
If you are out before dawn or after dusk, you need to make sure your bike has the proper gear to make it visible. Your white headlight and red taillight are just the start. Don’t remove reflectors from your scooter to make it look cooler. Rather, add reflectors to the scooter and your clothing. This is most easily done with
reflective tape, which is cheap and can be placed almost anywhere. These reflectors come in particularly handy if one of your lights burns out. You can also wear an LED light to help you stand out even more and get noticed by drivers.
You want drivers to be able to know where you are going. This means you need to always signal and well in advance. If your scooter is equipped with signals, use them. If it is not, use hand signals so drivers will know where you are going and when you are going to make a move. Do everything you can so drivers will know your intentions.
Most accidents occur at intersections. You want to make sure you stand out so you need to do everything you can to be noticed. Follow traffic signals and don't roll through stop signs. Make eye contact with drivers so you will know that they saw you. Always have your hand near the brake so you can stop, slow down or ride defensively if you need to do so.
Other Safety Tips
By knowing the traffic regulations and familiarizing yourself with the roads where you will be riding, you can help protect yourself when you are out on the roads. By understanding the laws of the road and proceeding with the proper caution, you can make sure you are less likely to be involved in a crash when riding your scooter on the road. Staying alert is the key to making sure you are noticed.
This article was written by the Outreach Team at Personal Injury Help, an organization dedicated to providing the public with information about personal injury and safety information. Nothing in this article constitutes legal advice or opinion, and is intended for informational use only. To find out more about them, you can go to www.personalinjury-law.com or contact them at email@example.com
HONDA's RELEASES 2017 SMALL SCOOTERS
RUCKUS AND METROPOLITAN QUIETLY RETURN
This week Honda quietly announced the 2017 editions of their 50cc models: the Ruckus and Metropolitan (known as the Giorno in Canada). Both scooters are returning without any updates, nor new color options.
After mixing up the Ruckus color options for the first decade, Honda has apparently decided that black and white/red are the best colors for the Ruckus, as these have now been offered for 6 years running (2012 - 2017). As the previous owner of both black and white Ruckus’s, I agree these are nice shade but I’m still partial to my 2008 shade of silver. All the year by year color options can be viewed on the Ruckus page.
The Ruckus has been on sale since 2003 in North America (2002 in Japan) which means 2017 marks its 15th anniversary here. The white/red color combo was originally introduced for it’s 10th anniversary but obviously has stuck around. Honda has clearly finished updating the Ruckus and it’ll probably just live on until sales reach a certain point. It is still a great scooter - now entering classic territory - and seems reasonably popular. It’ll be interesting to see if it can last longer than the Elite 80 (1985 - 2007), which had an impressive 23 year run in North America.
The Metropolitan / Giorno was overhauled last year, so the lack of mechanical changes isn’t surprising, but I did expect Honda to mix up the colors as they usually do. Instead, white, blue and red are back for a second year.
No word yet on pricing for 2017 but there’s no reason to expect substantial changes. Honda also offers two larger scooters, the PCX 150 and Forza 300. There’s no word yet on the 2017 Forza but the 2017 PCX was announced in early summer as it continues to be popular and sell well. I expect we’ll hear about the 2017 Forza soon.
2017 HONDA MODELS TO DATE: Ruckus, Metropolitan / Giorno, PCX150
YAMAHA RELEASES THEIR 2017 LINE
2017 BRINGS NEW COLORS, PRICES AND NO MORE TMAX
Yamaha released their 2017 offerings for the USA and Canada in recent days. The biggest news is the TMAX is gone for 2017, which has happened a couple times over the past 8 years but this ones looks like it might be for good. Yamaha released the TMAX in North America back in 2009. Over that time there’s been several updates and years off due to slow sales, but now this model is aging and most likely we won’t see it back unless Yamaha brings a new generation.
The rest of Yamaha’s 2017 line is standard fare - which is not surprising after releasing a nice update of the Zuma 125 last year and the SMAX the year before that. All Yamaha’s 2017 scooter models are carrying over unchanged, including the Vino 50, Zuma 50, Zuma 125 and SMAX. Once again there is the single - and better looking - headlight version of the Zuma called the Zuma FX.
Both the SMAX and Zuma 125 are fairly new machines so it’s not surprising there’s no changes here, but Yamaha’s 50cc models are showing some gray hair. Other than a switch to a 4-stroke motor for 2006, the Vino 50 is basically the same machine that went on sale 15 years ago for 2002. The Zuma 50 got a new motor more recently (2012) along with pretty substantial updates elsewhere, but the core platform also dates back to 2002. Hopefully Yamaha decides to release a new generation of their 50cc’s in the next few years.
Pricing changes for 2017 are trivial in the USA, with all scooters rising $9 (e.g. SMAX is now $3699 instead of $3690). Canadian prices are seeing a larger jump, with $100 added to price tags across the board except for the BMS/Zuma 125, which impressively drops $200 to $3699. That’s even more impressive when you consider back in 2009 it listed for $4199 in Canada - a drop over $500 over 8 years. The reduced BWS 125 pricing differentiates it from the more technologically advanced and larger displacement155cc SMAX, which was only $100 more in Canada last year. Now the SMAX is $300 more in both markets.
As usual Yamaha has revised their color offerings. The SMAX and Vino 50 get a single pigment choice, while the various Zuma models offer two. All colors are listed on the individual model pages. Also of minor note: Yamaha re-worked the side panel graphics on their Zuma scooters but they are still excessive.
MODELS: Vino, BWs / Zuma, Zuma FX/X, BWs 125 / Zuma 125, SMAX