SCOOTER SAFETY: STAYING VISIBLE IN TRAFFIC
March 31, 2017
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.