When it comes to riding a motorcycle or moped on the roads it is important to be more aware of your safety. This is because unlike in a car, where you are protected by the bodywork of the vehicle, you are exposed to everything. So the risk of injury is much higher. So, whether you are a motorcycle or moped rider, or a car driver you need to be aware of the dangers involved with motorbikes and mopeds so that you can take extra care.
Motorists in the US who have a full driving license can ride any motorcycle up to 125cc without passing a test or obtaining any special licence. That being said most motorbike tests in the US are superficial at best. Once you have passed this test you can ride any size of motorbike without restriction and there are no restrictions on moped riders. This means that there can be riders of all different abilities (or lack thereof) so you need to take extra care when around any rider. You should also be aware of the minimum age for riding a motorcycle or moped varies by age depending on the state. This goes as low as 10 years old for moped riders in Arkansas. This means that you could come across not only inexperienced bike riders but inexperienced road users in general.
Although it should be obvious that a helmet can help improve rider safety, not all riders get the message. The mandatory wearing of helmets is only law in some 20 states. Though most other states say that if you are under 18 or 19 years of age then you are required to wear a helmet. Colorado, Illinois and Iowa have no helmet laws whatsoever. In Delaware, you must carry a helmet, but you only have to wear it if you are under 19. In Rhode Island, only passengers have to wear a helmet. All this means that a large number of bikers are not going to be wearing helmets, thus putting their safety under great risk. They cite the restriction that wearing a helmet gives and claim that they have the right to kill themselves if they wish. Suffice to say that riders without helmets tend to not survive accidents.
What to Watch For
If you are a bike rider then you should wear protective clothing and helmets at all times to help with their safety. If you are a car driver, give bikers the same amount of space as you would a full car when manoeuvring around them. In particular watch for bikes coming up your blindsides as you are making turns. If you are stuck in traffic, then watch for motorbikes coming up between lanes of traffic even though it is illegal for them to do this. Finally, treat all bikers as you would treat any other road user. Just because they are riding a bike, this doesn’t mean that they are a hells angel or out to cause trouble.