Well...where to start ?..Equipment, I guess.
Gloves, I use weightlifters gloves for summer, and some heavy goretex cycle gloves when it gets cold....believe me, if you ever intend to ride in -20 and below, you will NOT ride twice without em.
Like someone else just said, road rash sucks, and gloves are a good way to keep it off yer hands.
Boots, combat preferably, but workboots will do, not only do they protect you, but are also great for kicking the everlivin shit of of people trying to make off with your wheels.
For cold weather, I highly reccommend a snowmobile suit...they make some fullbody cycle suits but they are more expensive, even tho they offer a little more protection - The snowmobile suit's a good check against road rash, and nice and comfy when it gets nippy out there.
ARMOR PLATE - I cannot stress enough the value of a decent set of body armor, motorcross style...in a wreck, if you're wearing it, you more than triple your survival chances, and while you may lose one or more extremities...all the REAL important stuff is in your main body mass...so protect that as best you can...good armor is light, fits well, and really does give you a more "secure" feeling on the road...not to mention stopping the occasional brick or bottle thrown at you.
My personal gear is a set of light armor with a field jacket liner under it, and either the jacket over it, or the snowmobile suit...I prefer it under cause it's not so obvious, especially to punks who might take it as an invite to throw things.
Helmet...goes without sayin, I use a 3/4 open face, cause I hate that head-in-a-bucket feel, and face shields distort...I don't care how good they are....but use as much protection as you can get without sensory deprivation, some folks like full-face, but I've owned expensive Shoei "Fog Free" helmets that fogged up the same as $40.00 cheapies, and I don't care for not being able to see - cause that's REAL important.
If you do go open face/no shield, use some eye protection...paintball or motorcross goggles are effective, and style an effectively "agressive" look as well.
Attitude - I know some folks might not wanna hear this, but one of the keys to survival in the urban environs on a moped is a singularly vicious and hostile "presence"...you want folks not only to see you, but to actively consider AVOIDING you, and looking like you'd like nothing better than to slam a chain through their windshield does do this, even tho that has it's drawbacks as well.
In the Burbs, now you wanna do bright colors and a bit of flash, enough to attract notice and attention, but down in da' hood, go dark and sinister....it's all in where you are.
Attention - very important...if yer tired, if you have a headache, if you don't feel so hot...stay off the damn thing, a moments lapse is all it takes to die, especially in high risk traffic situations - take the road less travelled, not only is it safer, but you tend to enjoy your ride more.
The three main culprits of moped wrecks are..in order, the clueless dorks behind the wheels of cars, mechanical failure...and punks throwing things.
I kid you not about #3 there, I've seen more moped/cycle wipeouts due to that than I care to remember.
Mech Failure is obvious, take good care of the wheels, they'll take care of you.
As for #2 - driving tips....
Leave yourself a little room on the throttle, that's hard for throttle jockeys like me who like to bang it to the stops and keep her there, but leave some room for that extra little jumpoff...you never know when even 1mph can mean the difference between a close call and an ER visit...I should know.
Yeah, the accident that nearly totalled me ? I saw em comin...and at that angle the brakes wouldn't have helped, so I slammed the juice and dumped the exhaust cutout in a vain attempt blast out of the path....which yes, means THEY had time to stop if they were payin any attention, but you know how car-pushers are.
I know cause the position of the cables when they were crushed into the bikes frame indicates where they were...1mph more, and they woulda missed.
On being passed...I know there's the temptation to be polite and move over as far as you can...but do NOT do this, if you channel yourself into a 12-inch wide area of pavement, and just as he passes there's a pothole in your path...it's a disaster.
On being tailgated...do NOT ALLOW this...flash your brake lights, and if they don't back off, you can either get out of their way (smart), or choose to discourage them...it depends on the situation, and being these are SAFETY tips, I won't go into...umm.."discouragement".
Your stopping distance is like, nil compared to a cars...so you wanna be at LEAST 30 feet ahead...and cause of this, if you spot a yellow light, and there's a car behind you...RUN the damn thing, it's all well and good to obey traffic law, but I've been bumped and dumped twice for stopping at a yellow the guy behind me had no intent to stop for, and one of em got into a fight with me over it - it ain't worth the hassle, just run it.
On being directly and intentionally harrassed ?
Pull off to the side of the road, into a parking lot...etc, and step off the bike...therefore "inviting" them to 'discuss' it OUTSIDE his damn 2000lb chunk of iron, instead of chasing you all over the road with a hella advantage.
A parking lot with many witnesses is a good place to do this, they'll generally think better of it, and if they don't, well...do what you have to...I really doubt even the worst road rager is going to chase you up the curb in front of the walmart entrance doors..(or even inside!, it's been done, once.)
That's about it, there's prolly more, but I'd hafta think on it, and I gotta take the roomie to work.
Hope alla that helps,