Moped Safety

Moped Safety

Mopeds can be rode from the age of 16 in the UK after completing a Compulsory Basic Training course, which make them an excellent entry level vehicle into life on Britain’s roads or just as an economical way of travelling to work. But road safety must always be paramount, below we have amassed a few tips on how to best protect yourself and others while out and about on your moped.

Ensuring you are prepared

Before heading out onto the road for the first time it would be wise to brush up on your highway code so that you are fully aware of the rules of the road. There are various online resources you can use, one of the most popular of which are the free to use tests on monkey.co.uk, Click here to try the theory test and then once you have mastered that try their the hazard perception test. Mastering the basics before hitting the road is essential to ensure a safe journey.

Choosing the right clothing

Moped HelmetA helmet is not only an essential peice of protective equipment but also required by law, riders must wear a safety helmet when riding a moped on the road. It helps to protect against serious or even fatal head injury.
All helmets purchased in the UK must have the BSI kite mark (BSI 6658-1985) or UN ECE 22.05 mark of approval. It isn’t recommended that you buy a second hand helmet, as you can never be sure if it would fully protect you in an accident.

 Moped JacketOther protective clothing that can be worn include jacket, trousers and gloves. A rider should make sure the jacket fits correctly, is comfortable, is always done up and meets their needs.  There are many styles and materials available including leather, fabric and Kevlar.

Many riders choose to wear denim jeans, which offer little protection. As an alternative, a rider could consider buying a pair of Kevlar lined jeans which have inserts in the knees, thighs and buttocks area. They offer good protection against road rash in the event a rider should fall from the machine.

Moped GlovesLeather gloves protect hands from the elements and also if a rider falls from a machine, full-fingered gloves can help prevent cuts and bruises to the hands. Gloves should be secured around the wrist to stop them from coming off in the event of an impact. If they are too bulky, the rider may have problems operating the controls of the machine.

 

Moped Maintenance

Maintaining your moped regularly is very important, once you have purchased your new moped it is highly recommended that you read the manual that came with it and follow the manufacturers guidelines on which specific maintenance you should perform.

Here is a basic outline of the things you should check on a regular basis:

  • Brakes – Ensure that the brakes stop your moped quickly and efficiently, have your brake pads inspected every few thousand miles and check your brake fluid levels regularly
  • Tyres – Make sure there are no obvious signs of damage such as bulges or cracks and that tyre pressure is of the correct level. Also the tread depth on the tyre should not be below 1.0mm
  • Lights, mirrors and windshield should all be in working order and clean from dirt
  • Oil – Often perform checks on the mopeds oil level and top up if necessary
  • Horn
  • Speedometer

Please note that this list is not exhaustive and it is important to follow the manufacturers guidelines.

Road Safety

Expect the unexpected.

Drivers often fail to notice moped riders. So it’s best to always ride defensively with the expectation that you won’t be seen, and to be alert and observant and keep an eye out for other vulnerable road users, such as pedestrians and cyclists.

Make yourself visible.

Wear a light or brightly coloured helmet and fluorescent clothing or strips when riding in daylight and reflective clothing or strips when riding in the dark.

Get your positioning right.

Position yourself in the most visible place on the road, usually the middle of the lane. Take up your road position in good time before turning right or left, giving proper and timely signals. Remember that dipped headlights can also help increase your visibility no matter the time of day.

Take care when overtaking.

Can you see potential hazards? Is there a bend or junction? Can you overtake without speeding up or swerving too much? Before you overtake, take a lifesaver glance over your shoulder and check what others around you are doing.

Don’t buy second-hand kit.

You don’t know where it’s from or what’s been done to it; chances are it won’t protect you properly if you have a crash.

Dress for the weather.

Be prepared for all types of weather. Take waterproofs and visor wipes for that sudden downpour – an uncomfortable ride can distract you from hazards.

Keep your bike clean.

Regular cleaning and maintenance keeps your bike running well, and also means you’re up close to it more often, so you’ll spot possible problems early on.

Take care in groups.

Take extra care when riding as a group – crashes often occur when riders try and keep up with a lead rider. If you’re ahead, try and keep the rider behind in your mirrors so you don’t have to keep stopping to re-group.

In addition your local police force may be running a BikeSafe scheme, with some councils offering the course for free, please check out the following website for more details of events happening in your area:

Bikesafe