Modes of Transportation

Road Traps and Techniques for Mopeds and Scooters

Intersections, blind spots and parked vehicles are but a few examples of the risks that must be dealt with when riding a moped or scooter. Here is how you can control and avoid them.


As you approach an intersection, be extra careful. What you must do:

  • slow down
  • make sure you have been seen by cyclists, pedestrians and other vehicles
  • signal your intentions

Trucks, buses and other heavy vehicles

As they are about to turn, keep your distance

  1. Trucks and buses require a lot of space to make a turn.
  2. To prevent accidents, never pass this type of vehicle on the right and avoid being in their blind spots.
  3. If the vehicle is about to turn left, be cautious: the driver may not have noticed you!

Watch out for their blind spots

If you need to drive near a heavy vehicle, make sure the driver notices you and avoid being in the vehicle's blind spots.

Watch out for turbulence

Heavy vehicles create turbulence when cruising at a high speed. Airflow around these vehicles creates large vortices that can destabilize nearby vehicles.

When riding a moped or scooter, stay away from heavy vehicles.

Illustration that shows the blind spots and air turbulence areas around a heavy vehicle. MAINTAINING

Maintaining Safety Margins

When riding a scooter, it is important to keep a safe distance between you and other vehicles. Doing so:

  • allows you to be more visible to other road users
  • provides the flexibility to react in time to the unexpected

Illustration that shows the proper distance to maintain between a scooter and other vehicles.

Parked vehicles and open doors

The safe way to ride along vehicles parked on the side of the road is to drive in the left third of the lane. That way, it will be easier for you to avoid:

  • an opening door
  • a pedestrian emerging from between 2 vehicles
  • a vehicle pulling out of a parking space without the driver signalling his or her intentions

Animals: they may surprise you, even in the city

On country roads, be mindful of wildlife warning signs. If you see one of these signs, it is because animals have been detected in the area.

In cities, watch out for pets, especially at intersections. Extendable leashes sometimes allow them to wander into the street. Do not attempt to kick away a dog that follows your moped or scooter as you risk losing your balance.

Railways are slippery at all times

Moped and scooter operators need to be extra careful when crossing railways in particular when it is or has been raining.

Depending on the layout of the railway tracks, you may have to alter your course to avoid sliding on the rails because of the angle at which they cross the road.

In most cases, where the tracks are more or less perpendicular to the road, you can cross the rails by travelling in a straight line without altering your course.

Illustration that shows railway tracks perpendicular to the road and a scooter crossing the tracks in a straight line.

If the tracks cross the road at an angle, you will have to alter your course to cross the rails at a right angle (as much as possible) to reduce the risk of skidding.

Illustration that shows railway tracks crossing the road at an angle and a scooter altering its trajectory in order to cross the rails at a right angle.

Riding as a group

When 4 or more individuals ride together on mopeds or scooters, they expose themselves to risky situations. To ride safely, as soon as 2 scooters are travelling together, riders must: 

  • drive in a staggered formation
  • keep a safe distance from each other so they can move safely. A safe distance is equal to the distance it takes your vehicle to travel in 2 seconds

Illustration that shows scooter operators riding as a group and keeping a distance of 2 seconds between each other. The illustration also shows that riders in the odd-numbered positions must ride in the left third of the lane and the riders in the even-numbered positions must ride in the right third of the lane.

The zigzag formation allows each rider to see properly around his or her scooter. The side-by-side formation does not offer this advantage since each rider prevents the other from seeing one side of the road.

The zigzag formation also provides a safety margin on the side of the scooter in case the rider needs to swerve to avoid a pothole or an object. The rider can therefore veer to one side without risking colliding with a scooter travelling alongside, or with an obstacle lying on the roadway.


Last update: May 30, 2022