A speedy, non-motorized form of transportation, their resurgence on the scene has allowed us to zip around towns and cities without even so much as a puff of harmful, polluting emmissions, and get a little bit of exercise while we do it! And what else has been able to pry young people away from TV sets and video games so effectively, and encourage them to get outside and be physically active?
Unfortunately, there is a downside. Since last Christmas's rush of scooter sales, we have seen an alarmingly high number of scooter-related injuries popping up in emergency rooms around the world. The vast majority of these scooter accidents involve those under the age of 15. And worst of all, with but a little attention paid to basic scooter safety, the vast majority of those mishaps could and would have been prevented.
The fact is, scooters are like any other piece of sporting equipment; they can be used and used safely, but you need to take proper precautions. Here are a few easily digestible guidelines for scooter safety that everyone who uses scooters should observe:
ALWAYS use a helmet, knee pads, and elbow pads.
This is a small investment - only about $35 - and can instantly eliminate almost two-thirds of possible scooter accidents, including most of the most serious ones. In many states, provinces and regions throughout the world, these are required by law!
Children under eight should always be supervised when using scooters.
Almost a third of all scooter-related injuries and accidents involve children under the age of eight. As everyone knows, scooters are capable of traveling very quickly, and children that age do not always have the judgement or coordination to handle these high speeds.
Use scooters in a safe places.
Cars and scooters don't mix, especially for younger riders. Smooth, paved surfaces are best - avoid bumpy, uneven, wet or rocky ones. Schoolyards, parks, paved trails are examples of safe places to "scoot"! And, on sidewalks, be especially careful for pedestrians, who always have the right of way.
Always observe the basic rules of the road anywhere you use scooters.
As scooters can travel as fast as many other types of vehicles, motorized and non-motorized, they too must observe the rules of the road. These include:
Do not ride a scooter at night.
When it is dark out, there are just too many things that can easily upset your balance and cause you to fall. Therefore, no one should ride scooters at night.
Safety tips for ATVs/Quads
Like other activities involving high speeds and heavy machinery, riding an ATV can be risky. To help stay safe, follow common sense safety tips. Take knowledge to the extreme and learn more about these important tips for safer riding:
Take a hands-on safety training course.
Formal training teaches drivers how to control ATVs in typical situations. Drivers with formal, hands-on ATV training have a lower injury risk than drivers with no formal training.
Always wear protective gear – especially a helmet – when riding ATVs.
Many ATV injuries are head injuries. Wearing a helmet may reduce the severity of these injuries. Select a motorcycle or other motorized sports helmet and make sure the helmet is certified by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and/or the Snell Memorial Foundation. In addition, wear over-the-ankle boots, goggles, gloves, long pants, and a long-sleeved shirt to protect against cuts, abrasions, and other injuries from rocks, trees, and other debris.
Do not drive ATVs with a passenger or ride as a passenger.
The majority of ATVs are designed to carry only one person. ATVs are designed for interactive riding – drivers must be able to shift their weight freely in all directions, depending on the situation and terrain. Interactive riding is critical to maintaining safe control of an ATV especially on varying terrain. Passengers can make it difficult for drivers to control the ATV.
Do not drive ATVs on paved roads.
ATVs – because of how they’re made – are difficult to control on paved roads. Collisions with cars and other vehicles also can be deadly. Many fatalities involving ATVs occur on paved roads.
Do not permit children to drive or ride adult ATVs.
Children are involved in about one-third of all ATV-related deaths and hospital emergency room injuries. Most of these deaths and injuries occur when a child is driving or riding on an adult ATV. Children under 16 on adult ATVs are twice as likely to be injured as those riding youth ATVs.
Do not drive ATVs while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Alcohol and drugs impair reaction time and judgment, two essential skills for safe ATV use.
Safety tips for Dirt bikes/Motorcross and motorcycles
Check out what this PRO says in a video by clicking here
Safety tips for pocket bikes
A pocket bike is a great way to have fun no matter if you are child or an adult. There is a lot of fun to be had when you are driving one of these fun motor vehicles. However you have to make sure that you are practicing great safety measures so that everyone involved is safe and sound while they are driving around on their pocket bike.
Anyone that is on a pocket bike needs to wear a helmet and other protective gear. You should make sure that you are wearing knee and elbow pads as well as eye gear. When you are on a pocket bike, you may find that you want to protect your eyes so that nothing gets in them while you are on the go. You should wear these items not only for your safety but also because it is the law.
Check your pocket bike before each ride. You should carefully go over the bikes frame to make sure that everything is in good working order. You will have to check the tires, the motor and the brakes. These are very important items on your bike and it will be necessary to keep them in good working order. Also check the lights if any and the seat and handle bars to be sure that they are tight and ready for your ride.
When you are riding at night, make sure that you are wearing the proper clothing. Wear bright colored clothes to allow the other drivers around the visibility to see you. You should have some kind of reflective items on your bike as well for even better visibility.
Do not ride alone. When possible ride with another person to ensure safety. You never know when you could break down or get into trouble. It is always better to ride in a pairs no matter what you are doing. A pocket bike ride is no different. Not only for safety but because you will have more fun when you are riding with someone too.
Know your pocket bike. Before you start going out on rides you should get to know your bike. Learn how to position your bike in the right ways so that you are feeling safe and secure. Make sure that you know how to operate the bike in the proper way so that you are practicing safety and fun at the same time. There is no rush and you should take the time to learn as much as you can about your pocket bike so that you are prepared for anything.
Use common sense when you are using your pocket bike. Do not try foolish stunts that could be potentially dangerous. You should keep in mind that this is not a toy and that you should use it in the same way that a car or motorcycle would be used. Safety is always first and you should be aware of the other drivers on the road. You are not out to impress anyone on your pocket bike. These bikes are all about having fun the safe way.
Safety tips for choppers
Riding over obstacles with a regular motorcycle is not usually a problem. The suspension and bike setup on most modern street motorcycles allows for a smooth transition over all but the largest obstacles.
Think about the recommended Motorcycle Safety Foundation procedure for crossing a 2x4 in the road or hitting a "pothole" that is 2" or so deep... you should try to cross at or near a 90-degree angle, stand up on the foot pegs to use your legs as shock absorbers, roll on the throttle a little to lighten the front-end as you cross the obstacle (and rolling off as you cross it to avoid throwing the obstacle up behind you), clear over the obstacle, and ride on.
With a chopper the procedure is slightly different. The greater than normal rake, extended front forks, far-forward controls, minimal (if any) rear shock travel, and low ground clearance requires more faith and strength and will take some practice to be able to complete the procedure safely. Of course, the best course of action is avoid obstacles completely (they say chopper riders are the most vigilant road surface scanners) but that just isn't realistic on today's roads.
My aching spine today tells me that I need more practice after hitting a pavement "bump" of approx. 2-3" yesterday on the highway.
The key to successfully crossing an obstacle on a chopper is having faith in the handlebars (and the strength in your arms/back) so you can pull yourself up off the seat enough to allow the rear tire to ride over the obstacle while keeping the bike under control.
It takes some practice... especially for the larger obstacles... and I would recommend you try it a few times on your motorcycle before you are on the highway going 65 MPH and notice the pavement squished up 3" across the lane right in front of you!
Practice obstacle clearance no matter what you ride and ride safe!
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