It would seem at first that when you’re embroiled in heavy traffic, it’s great that you’re riding a scooter, like a Bird or Lime. But this can present its own set of dangers that you may not expect. To help make sure you ride safely on your scooter, here are some safety tips to keep in mind:
1. Make Sure You and Your Scooter Are Ready
That means you’re not drunk and you’re physically able to use your scooter. You should have all your protective gear on, such as a helmet. At the same time, you also have to make sure that the scooter is in perfect working condition with enough battery to get you to where you’re going.
2. Ride Smoothly
This means you don’t do the abrupt “go fast and stop” way of riding down the streets when on your scooter. Accelerate smoothly, and brake gently. This is the essence of safe scooter riding, and it protects not just you but the condition of the scooter too.
3. Be Aware of Others
You have to account for the various vehicles on the road as well as well as the others on scooters too. Don’t forget to be on the lookout for pedestrians, especially children who may suddenly sprint from the sidewalk. Look both ways and make sure your vision is clear.
Learn how to anticipate other people so that you’re able to make quick lane changes.
4. Be Careful When You Overtake
What you really want to watch out for is overtaking near an intersection, when you’re in between the other driver and their crossing. It’s best when you’re on the other side when you overtake so that if they make a sudden turn for the entrance you’re not in the way.
5. Turn Your Head to Indicate Where You’re Going
Since you have no signals to turn on. It helps other drivers when you simply turn your head to the direction you plan to go to. People behind you will know where you’re going and they can anticipate your action.
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6. Practice Your Braking Skills Beforehand
You really don’t want to practice your scooter braking skills when you’re already caught in traffic. In these conditions, you should already know how to properly brake properly so you don’t end up hitting the vehicle in front of you.
Always keep a finger close to the front brake lever, while you also have a foot over the rear brake lever. These actions keep you ready to stop at a moment’s notice.
7. Slow Down in Tight Conditions
While speeding does have its own thrill, what you need to remember is that slower speeds give you more time to react to unexpected situations. That’s especially true in and weather in and heavy traffic conditions. Something may just hurl down to get in front of you, and a slower speed gives you more time to press on the brakes.
8. Be Ready with Power
Just keep your scooter in the lower gears during heavy traffic, as those will give you the best chances of squeezing through the various vehicles.
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9. Always Check in All Directions
When you’re crossing the road, you need to look left and right. That’s a good rule when you’re riding too. You have to check if there will be a possible hazard coming at you from any direction. It’s great if you can get into the habit of first checking left and then going into a clockwise pattern to check around you. After checking right, use your rearview mirrors.
10. Anticipate Slower Traffic
There will be times when the lane you’re in will slow down. When that happens, keep to the left or right of the car ahead of you, so if the lane traffic completely stops you can take advantage of the gap if it’s possible. If it’s not possible as there’s not enough space, just be ready when traffic moves again.
11. Check Your Side Every 15 Seconds
It’s very easy to just focus on what’s ahead of us, and forget that some vehicles may suddenly come right behind us. You have to pay attention to what’s going on behind you, especially when you’re stopping your motorcycle or making a turn.
That means you should check your left and right side view every 10 or 15 seconds.
12. Remember the 2 to 4-Second Following Rule
When you’re riding in broad daylight, you should keep enough distance between you and the vehicle ahead of you. This distance should take at least 2 to 4 seconds to travel should the vehicle suddenly stop for no reason. At night, this distance should be increased to 4 to 6 seconds.
It’s easy enough to test this distance. Note when the car in front of you passes a landmark, like a tree or a spot on the road. Then count the number of seconds (1-Mississippi-2-Mississippi) it takes for you to reach that same spot.
13. Check Out the Road Surface Ahead
There may be potholes, wet spots, or large stones that can spell travel for you and your scooter. Always be aware of what’s coming. If there’s a blind turn and you can’t see ahead, then you better slow down.
14. Obey the Road Rules
Whether or not there are cops around giving out tickets, you just have to obey the traffic laws so that you don’t cause even worse traffic with your shenanigans. Don’t even think about jumping the red light, as it’s just too dangerous.
15. Be In the Lookout for Open Zones
It can be hard on the nerves when you’re constantly sandwiched between 2 cars in separate lanes when you’re caught in traffic. But there are sometimes open zones that you can breeze in through when you’re riding in a low gear.
Remember all these rules and you’ll be good when you’re stuck in traffic while out on your scooter!