You just got a new scooter and you can’t wait to get scooting along to fun and excitement! There are a few things you might want to think about, though, before you settle yourself on that seat! Scooters can be dangerous and there are even more considerations.
Yes, scooters can be even more dangerous than motorcycles. They’re even harder to see and are often involved in accidents and even fatalities. Make sure you always use your signals to let other drivers know when you’re turning. In addition, drive way over to the side of the road when you’re on highways so that drivers can easily pass you unless you’re doing the speed limit.
In most states, you don’t have to have a driver’s license to ride a scooter or moped and you don’t need a tag or insurance. But, for some larger scooters this isn’t true. Check with your local licesing bureau to find out whether your scooter needs a tag or other qualifications before taking it on the road. In almost every state you do need a helmet to ride a scooter. Some states require that the helmet be approved by the Department of Transportation. Know the legalities before purchasing a helmet or you could end up with a hefty fine.
Don’t think that you can’t get in trouble while riding a moped. It’s illegal to drink and drive while operating one and you can get charged just as if you were drinking while driving a car. Sometimes, when flying down a hill, your moped can accidentally climb above the speed limit. That’s a speeding ticket just as if you were speeding in any other vehicle. Obey all the traffic signs, lights and warnings as if you were operating a car. Never take a scooter on the interstate; that’s against the law in every state.
There are other things you might want to know before riding a scooter. For example, it can be much colder on a scooter than what it feels like while you’re riding in a car or standing outside. The wind whipping all around you can make you feel like it’s much colder than it is. Always take a jacket with you in case you get cold. It will easily fold up and fit into the “trunk” under the seat.
Many mopeds and scooters provide a compartment up front that allows you to store small tools, gloves and other things. Don’t trust this compartment unless everything you’re carrying is way in the bottom. As you ride along and hit bumps and dips in the road it’s easy to lose things from this compartment. They simply fly out, unbeknownst to you, and they’re lost forever.
You can have all kinds of fun cruising around on a scooter or moped, but to enjoy it to its fullest, obey all traffic rules, keep an eye on other motorists, and prepare for small breakdowns, weather and other considerations. Happy motoring!