Quick Tips for Moped Safety
Riding a moped is fun but even a low speed fall can result in serious injury. In Virginia in 2007, there were 266 moped crashes which resulted in 8 deaths and 229 rider injuries. If you are considering a moped for daily use, you should also consider these important safety tips to protect yourself.
- In Virginia, you must be over 16 and you cannot ride on sidewalks or bike paths.
- Wear bright or reflective clothing to maximize your visibility at night.
- Wear a DOT, ANSI, OR Snell-approved helmet which are designed with hard outer shells and a retention system to protect the head and the brain in a variety of impacts. In 2006, 41% of those killed in crashes were not wearing a helmet.
- If your helmet is not equipped with a face shield, wear goggles or glasses with plastic lenses to protect your eyes against insects, wind, dirt, rocks, or other airborne matter.
- Wear elbow and knee pads.
- Wear slip-resistant shoes and avoid wearing sandals, flip-flops or shoes with laces.
- Ride with the flow of traffic.
- Obey the speed limits and never travel faster than your skill level or than the conditions allow.
- Know how to use hand signals and signal well before you make a turn or lane change.
- Use extra caution at intersections, parking lot entrances and exits, and driveways.
- Avoid hitting road hazards, such as sharp bumps and holes in the road surface. These hazards can cause loss of control or damage.
- Be especially conscious of traffic from behind.
- Check with your DMV to find out where local safety classes are being held.
- Keep both hands on the handlebars and both feet on the floorboards while riding.
- Virginia law requires that while operating a moped on the highway, you ride as close as practical to the right curb/edge of the roadway.
- Ride in the traffic lane only when you are passing, preparing for a left turn, or avoiding a hazard, pedestrian, or animal in your way. Pull back over to the right as soon as you safely can.
- When operating between sunset and sunrise, mopeds must be equipped with a headlight and a red rear reflector visible at night.
- Do not carry a passenger unless the moped is equipped with a passenger seat and footpegs.
- Use extreme care when mounting accessories and riding with cargo.
- Never leave your moped unattended with the engine running.
- Pass vehicles with extreme care.
- Keep your headlights on both day and night.
- Reduce your speed when riding over bumpy roads.
- Check your mirror and blind spot frequently.
- Use caution when riding in bus traffic and watch out for buses pulling to and from curbs and passengers getting on and off buses
- Do not block sidewalks, handicap and building accesses, or emergency drives when parking your moped.
If you or a loved one have been injured in a moped accident, call the attorneys at Allen & Allen today for a free consultation: 866-388-1307.