Monday, December 7, 2009

Scooter Defensive Driving Techniques

wrtie :

Everywhere you go, you see them scooting about. Mopeds and scooters are popular modes of transportation for many reasons including cost, storage space, and concerns on the environment. But it is important to practice defensive driving when they are on the road.

Determining how fast a moped or scooter is traveling is difficult. They are also smaller, difficult to see, and appear farther away than they really are. Maintain your scan of the road to ensure you are aware of their location and continually check your blind spots. Expect the unexpected and prepare to react by always keeping plenty of space around your vehicle. Increase your following distance to a minimum of four seconds in ideal weather conditions and 5 seconds in inclement weather and at night. Even wind can affect the stability and direction a scooter travels. Dim you high beams at night when approaching a moped or scooter as they are more susceptible to their blinding affect.

If travelling by a moped or scooter take extra precautions. Check to make sure you have met all the legal licensing, registration and equipment requirements for your local and state area before travelling on the road. Some vehicles with a motor capacity of 50cc are classified as a motorcycle and require a Motorcycle Safety Course. Know before you go.

Make sure your equipment is working and in excellent condition. Prevent problems on the roadway by making sure that your tires have the right amount of tread and are properly pressurized. Evaluate your load, cargo and whether to have a passenger as they directly affect your vehicles stability, performance and ability to maneuver.

Wear clothing that will give the greatest protection in a fall. Choose clothing that is light, bright and snug. Increase your visibility by adding reflective tape to your garments. This especially helps during nighttime, dawn and dusk. Consider boots, a jacket, long pants and gloves. Protect your eyes with safety glasses or goggles.

A leading factor in the death and disability of motor scooter and moped crashes is head injury. Wearing a helmet is the single most effective means to prevent head injury. Ensure that your helmet fits properly and is Department of Transportation approved. Most states have some form of mandatory helmet use.

Create a space cushion around your vehicle. The center of the lane is the best position to be in if riding alone. If traveling in a group, stagger the scooters positions in the lane. Always drive defensively; looking for an escape route, should you need to make an evasive maneuver. Check your blind spots and complete a visual scan every three to five seconds. Turning your headlights on during the day can improve your ability to be seen by pedestrians and other vehicles. When riding, your hands should be on the handlebars and your feet on the floorboards. Watch out for road hazards and defects. Signal well in advance, and consider using hand signals for extra safety.

Be extra cautious when approaching driveways, parking lots, and intersections. Reduce your speed for lower visibility conditions such as dawn, dusk, nighttime and poor weather. Avoid having sudden starts, braking and quick turns as they cause instability.

When reaching your destination, park on level ground, turn off the engine and if you have any passengers let them get off the scooter first.

With awareness and a few extra precautions, mopeds and scooters can operate safely on our roads.