If you’ve ever been to a college town, it’s common to see bicyclists and moped riders everywhere. Both forms of transportation make it easy and affordable for college kids to get around. When I attended the University of Minnesota I had many friends who had their mopeds zooming around from class to class. They talked about how quick it was to get around campus and cheap! I unfortunately had to walk, so I was always jealous. Here are some benefits to riding a moped around:
- Getting around campus quicker;
- Great gas mileage;
- More available parking spots;
- Affordable purchase price; and
- Great way to enjoy nice weather.
Even though there are great benefits to riding a scooter, safety should be a number-one priority. Changing weather conditions, poor roads, and the inability for other drivers to see moped riders can lead to injuries.
If your college student is heading off to college this year with a moped, here are some safety tips.
1. Respect. The moped's back in the day were about 50CC. Today, there are more options for engine size. No matter what size you get, show respect. Respect the vehicle, pedestrians, other traffic, and laws. When riding on a moped, you may be tempted to weave in and out of traffic, avoid stopping, riding where you shouldn’t, or popping wheelies. This type of riding can be dangerous and result in injury. Speaking from personal experience, it doesn’t feel good when your body meets the pavement.
2. Wear the appropriate gear. Today there’s no shortage of safety gear at many different price points. While you can rely on some things you already have, don’t skimp on things like a quality helmet and eye protection. Your student may think it's cool to not where a helmet, but in reality that helmet is very important when you're riding your moped to school, or work. Eyewear is very important, as well. At minimum glasses can keep bugs out of your eyes. Ultimately, they can protect you from severe eye damage. Everybody knows what a stone sounds like hitting your windshield. When on a moped or bike, your glasses are your windshield.
3. Consider taking a class. If you’re a new rider, a class is a good idea. A class can provide a basic introduction to a moped and share driving tips. In most states a valid license is required to ride a moped, so make sure that you have properly understood how to ride a moped before getting on one.
4. Pay attention to the weather. Always be aware of weather changes. Rain can make the pavement slippery. If you add leaves to the mix, pavement conditions can be extremely dangerous. Poor weather conditions can also make it difficult for other motorists to see you.
5. Sunrise and sunset. While a sunrise and sunset can be beautiful, it can make it difficult for drivers to see you. Make sure your headlight, taillight, and directionals are working properly. As a bicyclist, I’ve learned that people don’t always see me on sunny days. As a result, I use a bright headlight and taillight that can be seen during daylight hours.
West Bend Cares Blog
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