Moped Driving Safety Guidelines

  • Print Article |
  • Send to a Friend |
  • |
  • Add to Google |

Are mopeds safe? This question is exactly the same I asked when I was about to enter an airplane for the first time in my life. I inquired, "Is this plane safe?" My friend who was an experienced traveler, eased my anxiety. He told me that the majority of plains arrive safely to their destination. He concluded, "Accidents do happen, but they are the exception and not the rule". This would also be my answer to this question related to moped safety, except that, sometimes, by our carelessness, we make accidents the rule not the exception.

If you are thinking about buying a moped scooter and you haven't ridden one, it is normal to have certain level of anxiety. It is not unusual to have several areas of concern: Are there going to be unpleasant surprises along the way that would add more expenses, instead of saving me money? Do I risk more by driving a moped scooter than I risk driving other motorized vehicles? Is my moped going to fall apart quickly? If we are to be honest, any of those things can happen to you while you drive your electric or gas powered moped. But, does it mean it has to happen? Does possibility necessarily means probability? I think not.

Back in 2001, when moped scooters were relatively new products in the United States, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission published a press release reporting an alarming statistic about scooter-related injuries, 2,250 in the first seven months of the year, to be exact. Yet, the same year, the U.S. Department of Transportation and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported 2,806 fatalities caused by full powered motorcycle crashes. This statistic does not even consider the total amount of accidents on that year, only the ones that had a fatal outcome. The point is not that driving mopeds poses fewer risks than a full powered motorcycle, but that driving any kind of motorized vehicle has its risks. A moped is not necessarily a more dangerous artifact than cars, SUVs or motorcycles.

As the word suggests, accidents do happen, are not caused on purpose (at least most of the time), and occur when we least expect them. Some of them are unavoidable and some of them aren't. Fate sometimes plays a role in accidents. A lot of people have to suffer injuries, and even death, caused by other people's negligence or carelessness. When this happen, there is little you can do to avoid accidents. But the other side of the coin is that there are accidents that we can avoid. These are the ones we should be focused on preventing. Herby, I offer some general guidelines that will help us prevent accidents while driving a moped scooter.

 1.When buying a moped scooter one of your main concerns should be quality. I'm aware that in these days of economic scarcity, we must be careful not to overspend. But also, we must be careful not to sacrifice quality for a bargain. It is not wise to consider only the cost factor. There are really cheap mopeds on the market, but most of the time, the savings could be directly traced to the low quality of the material with which the scooter is built.

You'll be hard pressed to find a cheap high quality moped scooter. If you want your moped scooter to last, focus on quality. Recognized and established  brands are a bit more expensive, not because they necessarily want a bigger profit margin, but because they spend a lot of money on strict  measures of quality control, warranties and after sale service, which translate in durability and safety. The savings come later in the long lasting use of quality moped.

 2. When driving a moped scooter, consider health factors. You want not to be guilty of driving a scooter with any severe physical or mental impairment. Driving a motorcycle requires the ability to maneuver with precision, react quickly, have a good range of vision and use common sense. Therefore, in order to protect yourself and others, especially if your impairment is produced by a recent surgery or injury, I strongly recommend having your doctor test you and clear you to drive a moped. In other circumstances, a driving test performed by your local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will suffice.

 3. When driving a moped scooter, consider other limiting factors. There is no need to explain how alcohol, and other drugs in general, play an important role in traffic accidents. Age might be another limiting factor. Advanced age might mean that the reflexes needed to drive a speedy moped scooter safely are not adequate, even if local speed limits are respected. And driving too slow is not a good idea, since you could easily get run over. Additionally, emotions might impair your judgment when riding a moped. It is best not to go for a ride on you scooter if you are worried, anxious, angry o depressed. Intelligent drivers know their limits.

4. When it comes to riding a moped scooter, being safe is always better than being sorry. Do yourself a favor; find out what the legal requirements to drive a moped    are in your local DMV. Part of those requirements, I suspect, will be to test your knowledge and abilities in order to qualify you for a moped driver's license. They will probably test you for road rules, road signs, driving, vision and hearing.

If you want to be safe and legal, you'll be compelled to go to you local DMV and get one of their free instructional booklet that not only will prepare you for the test, but also, to be a safe moped driver. After all that's the ultimate goal of licensing. Some of those local agencies offer moped driving safety course (to see   an example, visit online http://search.dmv.org/dmv/iowa/moped-safety-course). No one could tell how many lives these courses and tests have saved. Being legal      and safe is the name of the game. 

5.When jumping into a moped for a ride, always use courtesy and common sense. This is the essence of safe driving. Be on the alert of other vehicles and pedestrians. Dress appropriately for the ride (DOT-approved helmets have saved many lives). Ride alone, unless your moped has a seat for a second passenger. Obey the rules of the road. Do not make unnecessary moves on the city streets. Be ready for the unexpected. Avoid driving on uneven roads or through water   puddles. Use hand signal before making a turn. Be especially cautious if you ride at night, when approaching intersections and at driveway entrances and exits. Safety deserves our best effort.

 Are mopeds safe? They are as safe as the ones driving them. Somebody once said, "it's not the vehicle the cause of accidents and injuries; it is the operator that is driving them, and others that don't see them on the road and turn into them". If you ever want to avoid accidents altogether, then don't drive your moped. No moped was ever unsafe in the garage. But if you bought yours to use it, let it be known that you are taking some risks. And this guide, though not exhaustive, was written to help keep those risks to a minimum.

Rate this Article:
  • Article Word Count: 1160
  • |
  • Total Views: 25
  • |
  • permalink
  • Print Article |
  • Send to a Friend |
  • |
  • Add to Google |
>