by Jennifer Coursey | Last updated on March 12th, 2018
The number of scooters has significantly increased on a global scale. In fact, they’ve become one of the major road vehicles in most developing countries. Driving a scooter has its own fun and danger. Well, the fun part comes only to those that have some experience. But as a beginner, you need to know that driving a scooter isn’t as simple as jumping on a bicycle and twisting the handles. This article looks at some safety riding tips you need to equip yourself with in order to get the most out of your ride.
How to Ride a Scooter First Time
Safe scooter driving has its own challenges. From steering, braking, to balancing, beginners have more to learn in order to stay on the safe side. Every great ride starts with good preparation. That said, let us look at the various safety tips and preparation you need to know before hitting the road.
Tips and preparation
- Make the right choice. Get yourself a scooter that matches your needs. For instance, there are scooters for women and those designed for men. Determine if it’s an automatic or twist and go scooter. Getting the right scooter guarantees durability, strength, and performance.
- Purchase the right protective gear. Prepare yourself by getting the right protective gear. These include eye protection, highly visible clothing, right footwear, rain gear, and a helmet. It’s recommended that you settle for up-to-date gear that will lessen potential body damage.
- Accessorize. Accessorize in case you want to get a higher level of comfort and safety. This might involve upgrading the seat, handle grips, and other components.
- Choose location. As a beginner, learning how to ride a scooter on high traffic areas is not recommended. Start small by practicing on your backyard or around the neighborhood. Ensure to choose an area with grass to enhance confidence and minimize chances of any serious injury.
- Understand local laws. Understand the legal part involving your local scooter laws and responsible driving. This involves getting a recent driver’s guide.
How to learn: learning steps
1. Study different parts and their uses. The first step to safe scooter driving is to learn the basics. Take time to know how it operates. Know the different parts and their uses. This can easily be done by studying the manual that comes with your scooter.
2. Master basic skills (balancing, braking, and cornering). Just like learning to ride a bicycle, you need some good balancing skills in order to be ready to ride your scooter. Do it the easy way by riding your scooter slowly down a sloped driveway with the engine turned off. Try to use your legs so that you don’t fall over. Increase the speed gradually and practice other basic skills, such as braking and cornering.
3. Master advanced skills (clutch engaging). Now that you’ve mastered the basic skills, it will be a good time to move a notch higher. With the engine still off, practice engaging the clutch using the left lever. Put the scooter in first gear and then shift to neutral. Turn on the engine, pull slowly on the throttle, and slowly let go off the clutch.
4. Master advanced skills (gear shifting). Practice shifting the gears. Start with the first gear and once you get a hang of it, engage higher gears. Keep speed in check by shifting the gears up and down. Knowing when to shift is quite crucial. You can do this by simply listening to the engine. Practice for about a week or two until it becomes your second nature.
5. Master advanced skills (emergency procedures). Familiarize with emergency procedures that will help you handle special situations. These include learning how to ride on uneven surfaces, cope with skids, and avoiding obstacles.
6. Get yourself a license. At this time, it will be quite tempting to go out and join other drivers on the streets. However, the law requires that you have a license in order to do so. So, the next step will be to acquire a license in case you don’t have one.
7. Go hit the road. Now it’s time to go out and explore. Try your driving skills on the busy streets, highways, and heavy traffic. In each step of the way ensure to make it even more challenging.
Safety Tips and Rules to Maintain: Stay Safe While Riding Your Scooter
- Wear helmet and eye protection. Unlike car drivers who have a steel cage protection around them, scooter drivers are vulnerable to pebbles, flies, and other obstacles. That means you have to always wear your helmet and eye protection.
- Maintain posted highway speed. Speed is a major contributing factor to scooter accidents. Even though it might seem quite exhilarating, try your best not to over speed.
- Use reflective stick-ons. The factory-installed reflective stick-ons on most scooters isn’t enough. What’s more, some of them are affected by weather and tend to fall off over time. To stay on the safe side get additional stick-ons on the helmet, back, front, and sides. Use epoxy glue to ensure it doesn’t come off.
- Always keep front light on. Keeping the front light on increases other driver’s awareness of your presence. In fact, you need to keep it on all the time, whether it’s daytime or at dusk.
- Always drive on your lane. It’s good practice to always stay on your lane. Do this even when making a turn. This will help avoid being bumped into oncoming traffic.
- Avoid tail-gating. Tail-gating or following too closely behind isn’t advisable. Sometimes car drivers are unaware or too careless to focus on you. Avoiding such will help prevent being rammed from behind.
- Always signal when turning. Turn signal lights are quite crucial for your safety. These lights help broadcast your intentions to traffic around and also highlight your presence. Use them to avoid making sudden turns.
- Jump in case collision is inevitable. Jumping is a sure way of saving your vital organs from injuries in case of an inevitable collision. In case there’s a soft place to crash, go for it!
I hope this article has given you the skills and safety tips you need to enjoy your ride. Always ensure you keep these safety scooter riding tips in mind before hitting the road. This will help you enjoy all the beautiful moments and turn your rides into perfect memories. Remember a scooter is almost like any other motor vehicle and should be treated with the safety it deserves!