Mopeds and scooters are a fun and sustainable alternative to more traditional modes of transportation. Just because it’s not a car, however, doesn’t mean you don’t have to take safety concerns seriously. While mopeds can’t go very fast, they provide next to no protection for the driver in the event of an accident. Just like with motorcycles, there’s nothing between the person on the moped and the other car or the road.
Moped accidents may pose the greatest risk to teenagers and younger drivers. This is often the demographic most attracted to the moped as a convenient option for increased mobility. Unfortunately, younger drivers are also prone to careless or distracted driving.
Safely driving a moped requires attentiveness and alert, defensive driving. A single impulsive move on the road or a driver that doesn’t notice you could lead to a serious accident.
Regulations on Young Moped Drivers
As a newly popular mode of transportation for teens in some areas, legislators are still wrestling with how to properly regulate it. Concerns about safety and younger drivers have led South Carolina and other states to pass new laws to help keep teenagers safe.
Now, in South Carolina, you have to register your moped and use a valid license to drive it. Teenagers without driver’s licenses can take a simple vision and knowledge test to get a moped license if they’re at least 15-years-old. You also have to pay fees every two years to keep your moped registered.
The rules don’t end there. Further restrictions have been added to keep younger drivers out of dangerous situations on the road. 15-year-old drivers can only drive alone during the day. At night, they have to be accompanied by an adult nearby.
Driving at night on a moped or electric scooter is especially dangerous, as other drivers around you may not be able to see you. It’s best to avoid it, no matter how old you are, but wearing a reflector vest and using lights can help you stay safe if you have no choice but to use the moped after dark.
Mopeds have to follow all of the rules of the road, just like anyone else. Observing all normal traffic rules and respecting other cars will go a long way toward keeping you and your teenager safe while using mopeds.
If you have a young moped driver in the family, make sure they understand the importance of wearing a helmet and possibly other safety gear like glasses or goggles. Without a windshield, there’s nothing between your eyes and the rocks and bugs on the road.
Always pay attention to the weather conditions and do everything you can to make sure other drivers can see you. Sharp turns in the road or a bright afternoon sun can make it harder for drivers to notice a moped as well. Just a few simple precautions can make a world of difference.