When riding a motorcycle or bike, we’re all warned to ride defensively, wear a helmet, and make sure drivers know we’re on the road. There is very little advice readily available for moped lovers, however. Why is that? Is it because they are less dangerous to ride than motorcycles? Well, the truth may surprise you.
Mopeds Vs Motorcycles
Motorcycles, without a doubt, can be dangerous to ride. When involved in a motorcycle accident, whether it was your fault or not, you’ll be left with serious injuries that could last the rest of your life. What most people don’t realize is that mopeds, in some ways, are just as, if nor more, dangerous than motorcycles.
Lowered visibility: Motorcycles are already smaller than passenger vehicles, so they are easy to miss on the road when turning or switching lanes. Mopeds are even smaller than motorcycles, making them very hard to see. They are also quieter, which can make them difficult to detect if they are in a driver’s blind spot.
Less safety gear: There is a large swath of safety gear available for motorists. From helmets to road leathers to specialized boots, a motorcyclist can keep themselves safe with proper gear. There isn’t nearly as much safety gear created for those using mopeds, however. While helmets are readily available, there isn’t much of a market for moped road leathers.
Less stability: A moped’s wheels are much smaller than that of a motorcycle. This makes them far less stable and more prone to falling over or flipping. Small debris, such as pebbles or branches, can easily cause a moped rider to fall over and sustain injuries.
The Dangers of Mopeds
We all have an image of a biker riding their motorcycle wildly down the California coast. Mopeds, on the other hand, are far less likely to evoke an image of danger. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t dangerous. According to Forbes, 40% of moped accident injuries result in bone fractures and breaks, and 27% resulted in lacerations and bruises. Most alarmingly, 31.7% moped related injuries were head traumas. Brain injuries can follow you for a lifetime, impacting your ability to live independently, hold down a job, or even just go on a pleasant walk down the street.
Safety Tips for Moped Riders
With all of these frightening statistics in mind, we have a few safety tips for moped riders.
Wear a helmet: As with bikes and motorcycles, it is important that moped riders wear helmets. Mopeds lack seatbelts and airbags, so an accident can easily lead to serious head injuries. A helmet could be the key to saving your life.
Wear reflectors and bright colors: Mopeds are not highly visible to other vehicles. Wearing reflective or bright clothes can help make you more obvious to drivers on the road.
Ride defensively: We can’t control how other drivers around us behave. While you may take your safety seriously, a driver in the next lane may not. That is why it is important to drive defensively. Check your mirrors periodically, avoid driving in blind spots, and be overly cautious when turning or changing lanes.
Keep your scooter’s speed limit in mind: Most scooters are not capable of going faster than 40-50 miles per hour. You should avoid using your scooter on freeways or roads with high speed limits. Going too fast on a moped can seriously put your life in jeopardy.
Moped accidents can be debilitating. If the accident wasn’t your fault, you may be left wondering how to get justice for your injuries and compensation for your medical bills. Even if it was partially your fault, you may be able to collect damages because of the serious nature of the injuries that can result from these accidents. Thankfully, with an experienced Santa Barbara moped accident attorney by your side, the process might be simpler than you think. If you or a loved one were injured in a moped accident, reach out to our firm, Nordstrand Black PC, at (805) 962-2022 to find out what your options are.