Before you start zooming around campus on your new scooter, we recommend you read through these safety tips to protect yourself, other drivers, and pedestrians.
Wear your helmet! Did you know that 70 – 80% of all fatal bicycle crashes involve head injuries; however, helmets can be 80-85%effective in mitigating head and brain injuries. A full helmet is preferable to protect your entire head, but at a minimum you should wear a ¾ helmet. Also, remember to fully fasten your helmet. If you were to get into an accident, your helmet could fall off if not clipped properly.
Be alert. As a driver on the road, you are responsible for keeping the rules of the road and ensuring the safety of other drivers and pedestrians. Just like in a car, you have to be aware of pedestrians – crossing the street and walking on the sidewalks. They have the right away when crossing at four-way stops, when the “walk” sign is on at stoplights, and at crosswalks in the middle of the street. This means you yield to them. Even if a pedestrian is crossing illegally, you should allow them to finish crossing, rather than trying to dart around him/her, to protect yourself as well as the safety of the pedestrian.
Maintain visibility. Do not swerve in and out of cars to avoid traffic. It makes it more difficult for drivers to be aware of your movements when you move in and out of their blind spots. Drive in position where you have the most visibility and you are most visible to other drivers. Keep in the center of your lane to be visible in drivers’ rear view mirrors. This also means turning on your headlights when it’s raining or between the hours of dusk and dawn.
Drive defensively. Be aware of other drivers as well as pedestrians.You should be 100% focused on driving when you’re on a scooter – no talking to your buddy riding with you, no waving to classmates as you pass by, and of course, no talking or texting. Keep focused on the road in front of you, especially during times between classes pedestrians often dart out in front of car as they rush to class.
Wear closed-toes shoes and other protective wear. Tennis shoes and boots provide a sturdy, stable surface to stand on when you’re stopped at a traffic light or stop sign. Sunglasses obviously protect your eyes from harmful UV rays, but also from dirt and other particles that may get into your eyes. Wear bright, reflective colors especially when it rains or is dark (if you have your headlights on, you should be wearing reflective clothing of some king). You can even add reflective strips to your helmet. Additionally, pants and long sleeves shirts are helpful in protecting your body while driving.
Be loud and signal. Let other drivers know where you are headed. Signaling gives notice that you are about to turn or change lanes. If other drivers are moving into your lane, HONK or give them a BEEP to know you are there.