Accidents Involving Mopeds or Scooters
There are many ways to get around in California but it’s important to keep in mind that any mode of transportation can lead to an accident and you should contact a personal injury lawyer for any legal help you may need. The excellent weather encourages individuals to be outside as much as possible. This leads to the use of vehicles such as mopeds and scooters, which allows a person to be unenclosed and are relatively inexpensive. There are many benefits to riding a moped or scooter, such as low gas prices, enjoying outdoor weather, ease of parking, and lower insurance rates and general costs. Mopeds are a combination of a motorized vehicle and a bicycle-like vehicle that is powered by pedaling. Scooters are typically lower and wider than a motorcycle and are much slower and less powerful.
Unlike cars and trucks, moped and scooter riders aren’t encased in several thousands of pounds of steel and metal to absorb any impact. This means that even a relatively minor collision can lead to serious injury. Mopeds and scooters can’t go too quickly, most have a 30 miles per hour maximum, but that doesn’t stop other cars from speeding along. These other cars are much larger than mopeds and scooters and often don’t notice the smaller vehicle’s presence. Should a moped or scooter encounter another vehicle traveling at high speeds, the moped or scooter is incapable of moving out of the way very quickly and does very little in the way of protecting those riding.
The best way for mopeds and scooters to travel is within the lanes of traffic. They should not be used in bicycle lanes as they travel much faster than bikes and can be as dangerous to a bike as a truck is to them. If a driver is pedaling a moped, then it is safe for that vehicle to travel in the bicycle lane.
Moped and scooter vehicles have experienced a resurgence in popularity in recent years by as much as 60%. Scooters are more than twice as likely as mopeds to be involved in a crash resulting in injury, but still half as likely as motorcycles. If you have been in any type of accident regarding a scooter or moped, you should contact an accident lawyer to determine your best course of legal action.
Due to the exposure mopeds and scooters provide the individuals riding them, catastrophic injuries are more easily incurred than for individuals in a standard car or truck. Some injuries an individual riding a moped or scooter may incur include:
- Broken bones
- Cuts and bruises
- Loss of limb
- Brain damage
- Severe damage to the foot
Many moped and scooter riders do not wear helmets. Many drivers also operate their vehicle while under the influence and other drugs. Being under the influence is a very significant risk factor for severe and fatal crashes. Driving on roads with four or more lanes and with speed limits of more than 30 miles per hour were significant factors on the fatality rates.
Insurance and Licensure
Many moped and scooter drivers do not travel with insurance, even though this is illegal for mopeds. A study of moped and scooter crashes found that over 90% did not operate their vehicle with the proper insurance and that over 80% did not wear helmets. All drivers of motorized vehicles are required by California law to wear a Department of Transportation approved helmet.
Any motorized vehicle, such as a moped, must be driven by an individual who holds a valid M1 motorcycle license and must be registered with plates. Scooters can be driven by an individual with any class driver license and does not need to be registered.
As injuries are more likely to occur with mopeds and scooters, it is very important for drivers to have insurance. The minimum policy includes coverage of $10,000 per person and $30,000 per incident. These limits are not sufficient to cover serious physical injury in a collision. It’s a good idea to take out the most insurance that can reasonably be afforded in order to offer the best protection in the case of a crash. If you have been involved in an accident involving a moped or scooter, speak to an accident attorney immediately.
Legal Action After a Crash
It’s a good idea to stay off the road during the most dangerous times, such as at night, especially on the weekends. These are the times drivers are the most likely to be distracted or under the influence of alcohol or other drugs.
Approximately half of all crashes involving a moped are the fault of the other driver. In 2013 in California, there were 57 moped crashes resulting in 1 fatality and 56 injuries. There were also over 12,000 crashes involving a motorcycle or scooter. There were over 2,000 severe injuries from these crashes.
After a crash, it’s important to determine if anyone was seriously injured and to seek medical treatment if necessary. Drivers are required to exchange contact and insurance information. It’s a good idea to take pictures of any damage and the scene of the incident in order to determine fault. Calling a police officer to the scene can help determine fault and to get an official record.
It’s important to contact an experienced and professional personal injury attorney for advice on how to proceed and to guide you through a potentially difficult and confusing process.
Contact a Sacramento Personal Injury Lawyer Today
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, contact our Sacramento accident lawyer to discuss your legal options. We have offices in Sacramento & Folsom for your convenience and have the resources and expertise to aggressively litigate your case in court, fighting to get you just compensation for your injury.
Call (916) 299-8131 today for a free consultation with our Sacramento personal injury lawyer regarding your auto accident injury case.