Although there are thousands of scooter commuters and enthusiasts in the US today, traditional motorists are often challenged to see them on the road, and may even be persnickety about giving them their rightful space. In most cases though, the road must be shared, and safely.
No matter how experienced you are on a scooter, you should still practice alert, defensive driving and remember that other motorists may not be accustomed to seeing them, or looking for them, in traffic; however, if you are navigating through a resort town like Key West, you will probably encounter plenty of your brethren—as well as seriously congested traffic in a small space, and far too many unfortunate opportunities for accidents. This is even more dangerous if you are in smaller traffic areas where large trucks, RVs and more, are traveling through. To top it off—in some areas of Florida you may be dealing with tourists who are unfamiliar with the area and twice as distracted as they attempt to get their bearings.
Here are just a few tips to help you stay safe while riding your scooter in traffic:
- Wear your helmet. Although you may not think it looks cool, and it is not required (for those over 21), your helmet could make the difference between heading out for more fun tomorrow or lying in a hospital bed recuperating from a traumatic brain injury.
- Remember that other motorists may have trouble seeing you – Dressing in all black is not the best idea—and especially if you are riding your scooter at night. It helps if your scooter is brightly colored – and you should dress to match, in any sort of bright and/or reflective clothing. While it may be too hot to wear a reflective jacket or pants, go for the visibility factor when getting ready to head into traffic. You may want to add extra lights to your scooter, and use the brights routinely.
- Make Yourself Heard – Just as motorcycles often rev their engine to be noticed in traffic, don’t be afraid to use your horn, even if just offering a quick double tap to make sure others know you are there.
- Be Cautious When Braking – Slamming on the brakes in traffic while riding a scooter is asking for trouble. Make sure you are keeping a close eye on the traffic ahead of you so you can hit the brakes lightly at least once before stopping.
- Wear protective gear – Heat may be a factor in your decision to wear a tank top and shorts when heading down the road on your scooter, but it is a good idea to cover as much of your skin as possible for protection in the case of an accident.
Be sure to watch your speed—and always try to be one step ahead of those driving in front of and behind you for extra defensive driving. If you are injured on your scooter due to the negligence of another driver, contact the attorneys at Heintz & Becker. We’ve helped victims from Bradenton, Sarasota, and all over Florida get compensation for their damages and medical expenses after accidents. Call us for a free consultation now at 941-748-2916 or contact us online. We are here to help!
All blogs are written on behalf of Heintz & Becker for informational purposes. These articles should not, however, be considered legal advice, or in any way responsible for creating an attorney/client relationship.