Being safe on the road applies to everyone. However, when you're riding a scooter, you have to be 10 times more vigilant:
- Behave as if NO one sees you and knows that you are there. Don't be afraid to use the honk. If you think a car doesn't see you - toot your horn! it might save your life.
- Again - behave like a car, not a bicycle.
- If you choose to bypass in between cars, expect doors to open at any moment - they just might and YOU will get hurt.
- Expect cars to cut in your lane and pass you - they WILL do it.
- If a car driver is tailing you because you are not going "fast enough" do not let this pressure you into speeding. If you can, let them pass. If not, just too bad! They will have to be patient.
- If, while handling your Vespa/scooter, you lose balance and it starts tipping over, let it fall... (especially if you are of smaller size like me!) If you try to stop it, it may take you down as well. Don't sweat the scratches on it, those are fixable.
- When the light turns green, don't take off right away. Let a second or two pass, there is always SOMEONE who burns a red light and you do not want to be in their way. I personally always let the cars next to me go first so as to create a protective barrier.
Helmet: Why not get a helmet that represents you? Instead of a boring head bowl (which I still have for my guest riders!), you can select a more funky one that stands out and increases your visibility on the road as well.:
- Jacket: Leather is always best ( leather gloves are good too when it starts getting cold) but it can get too hot in summer, a jean vest does the trick!
- Purse/bag: one that has a strap long enough to wear over your shoulder and across your body. There is room in the seat for some purses but you can maximize and use that storage for extra objects if you went shopping.
- Leggings: Think you can ride in a skirt without these? think again. You'll need to feel comfortable and your skirt will rise as you'll need to put your feet down to balance your vehicle. With leggings, no problem! You slip them on and you slip them off!
- Sunglasses: (if you don't have a visor on your helmet) selecting sun glasses that are big and wide enough to protect your eyes from the sun, debris, insects and the wind are definitely a must.
- Always keep a rag in your seater trunk - if it rains, you'll have something to dry off your Vespa with. Keep a locking chain in your trunk as well (it will not tax the storage space) and a pair of gloves.