Scooter Safety Tips To Keep Your College Student Safe
What You’ll Learn
As you read about these college student motorcycle rider safety tips and scooter rider safety tips, you’ll learn:
- Getting around on two wheels doesn’t have to be high risk. Whether it’s a scooter or a motorcycle, using smart safety strategies can make all of the difference.
- In addition to teaching some safety tips, it’s important to have a culture of respect (for the vehicle, pedestrians, traffic laws, etc.) surrounding riding a scooter or motorcycle.
- There are motorcycle and scooter rider safety classes in Arizona specifically designed to help college students build a good riding foundation and to quell the fear of their parents.
Is a Scooter Good Transportation for College?
This really depends on the student and the campus, but in general, yes, scooters are a great transportation option during college. There’s a reason so many campuses are full of all types of scooters, bicycles, mopeds, motorcycles, and other two-wheeled vehicles. For one, scooters and similar machines are often way more affordable than cars, which is helpful for college students who typically don’t have a lot of extra money to throw around. Insurance is MUCH lower compared to having a car too.
In addition to the price, there are numerous other benefits of getting a scooter for college:
- They make it easy to get around campus quickly, and they may even be allowed some places where cars aren’t.
- Scooter or motorcycle parking is often closer to the academic buildings on campus which means less time walking to class.
- There are more available parking spots, which comes in handy on those campuses where parking is at a premium. Not only are the parking spots more abundant, but they are also often less expensive compared to car parking.
- They’re very fuel-efficient, sometimes getting as much as 70 to 100 miles per gallon, which means there’s less of an environmental impact as well as less need for gas money. In a time of rising oil and gas prices, this could be a huge savings.
- They’re fun to ride, especially when the weather is great. Zipping around a college campus on a light, easy to handle scooter is a terrific way to make happy memories.
While there are many great things about scooters and mopeds, they still have to be taken seriously. Safety should always be a top priority which is why attending a Basic RiderCourse with Scooters makes a ton of sense.
How Can Being Unaware of Scooter or Moped Safety Increase Your Risk?
Most people know some unique risks associated with motorcycles, but they don’t always treat scooters and mopeds with the same care. Some scooter or moped riders think of them as toys instead of potentially dangerous roadworthy vehicles. No matter how big and powerful the engine is in a two-wheeled machine, the same focus on safety is still just as necessary. There are a few factors that may lead to increased risk while riding a scooter or moped at college:
- Inexperience – If the driver isn’t very comfortable on this type of machine, or lacks overall driving experience, it can be harder to make smart choices and follow safety protocols.
- Visibility – Since scooters and mopeds are smaller, it’s harder for other drivers to see them. This can add danger, especially at intersections and other situations where visibility problems are especially likely to arise.
- Weather – Changing weather conditions can make things more difficult for all kinds of drivers, but the challenges are especially pronounced on two-wheeled vehicles since they have fewer points of contact with the road and the driver is exposed to the elements.
- Road Conditions – If the roads around campus aren’t maintained very well, it can create difficult driving conditions. Hitting a pothole in a scooter is a lot more of a big deal than it is in a car. Learning how to swerve to avoid obstacles like potholes is all part of a rider safety course.
How Can You Be Safe on a Scooter or Moped?
The first step is to educate yourself. Start with a Basic RiderCourse with Scooters to learn the correct techniques. Next, have respect for the scooter, traffic laws, pedestrians, and other traffic. Develop good safety habits. If this foundation is built and the rider takes the process seriously, everything else will fall into place a lot more quickly. A scooter or a moped might not be extremely fast or powerful compared to a motorcycle, but they aren’t toys and should be taken seriously at all times.
Gear for Scooter Riders
A big part of reducing risk is wearing the appropriate gear. College students often want to look cool. The latest riding gear is incredibly fashionable and will help the rider look cool when they’re riding around on campus. Priority is impact and abrasion resistance as protecting your body and brain are very important, but the latest in gear also keeps us looking good. Sadly, riding gear is often overlooked since scooters and moped riders perceive low speeds as low risk. Riders falsely think they cannot harm themselves in a low-speed tumble, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. A simple crash at barely a walking pace would be enough to cause brain or neck damage. We are paying a lot of money at college to educate ourselves and fill our brain with knowledge. Protect that investment by wearing appropriate gear. It can go a long way toward preventing road rash or more severe damage in the event of a crash.
Scooter and Scooter Braking
Next, it’s time to learn some technical skills like how to brake correctly. This seems intuitive, but it’s still important to think about what you’ll do physically to handle your machine. The more comfortable you can get running through the motions of stopping your vehicle, the more prepared you’ll be to react properly when you have to do it in an emergency situation. This includes knowing how to slow down and stop effectively.
Learn Where to Look
Your vision is arguably the most important skill you can work on for riding. Knowing when and where to look and when is a big deal, and it can come into play in numerous different situations:
- 360-degree situational awareness. When approaching an intersection, looking far forward can help assess risks and develop a safe plan to execute if hazards appear. Look at the roadway, signage, markings, other traffic, and pedestrians to ensure you know exactly what you’re heading toward.
- Vision is especially important for cornering. Deciding where to enter and exit a turn can help prevent taking excessively wide turns.
- Avoiding target fixation can come in handy when it’s time to avoid an obstacle. Most riders have the instinct to stare at what they’re trying to avoid, but this could lead to riding into what we’re actually trying to avoid.
Practice Managing Intersections
As mentioned above, vision is a big part of managing intersections on two wheels. Good vision practices can help the rider identify and evaluate potential risks in advance. There is also a lot to be learned about how to approach an intersection and how to execute strategies successfully. This comes down to practice, and the safest way to learn is under the guidance of an experienced RiderCoach.
This applies in more ways than one. It’s important to be aware on the road, and it’s also important to be aware of the risks. Things like Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month can go a long way toward helping with that. Connecting with a community also gives riders much more access to other safety tips and tricks while fostering continuous learning.
Can 16-Year-Olds Ride a scooter?
Any individual older than 15 years 6 months can be a candidate to receive a motorcycle endorsement to add to their driver license. If under the age of 18, the first six months will require the operator to be limited to permit conditions even if they attend a rider training course. After a six-month permit period, the operator can apply to have a full endorsement added to their driver license.
An alternative would be to get a motorcycle-only license. When under 18, the above conditions apply AND the operator would need to take a “rules of the road” test at the MVD in addition to attending a rider training course.
TEAM Arizona Motorcycle Rider Safety Course
Here at TEAM Arizona, we pride ourselves on being the premier motorcycle rider training organization in Arizona. We help riders in every stage of life learn to ride motorcycles, scooters, and scooters. We’re even offering new rider lessons for the back-to-school season, specifically to help college students obtain the right foundation for a lifetime of successful riding and to help their parents feel comfortable about the proposition of having their kid ride a scooter. Sign up for a course today to help your college student enjoy their experience and get around campus safely.