The Severity of Safety Risks Posed by Scooters and Mopeds


December 13, 2016

Atlanta Scooter Accident Lawyers Discuss Severity of Safety Risks Posed by Scooters and Mopeds

Scooters and mopeds offer a cost-effective form of transportation especially given the mild weather experienced in Georgia much of the year. High fuel prices have made motorized bikes, such as scooters and mopeds, popular options in the Atlanta metro area and throughout Georgia. Although some people select low speed motorized bikes as their transportation option because of a belief in their safety, these vehicles are characterized by many to have similar safety limitations to those of motorcycles. In this blog article, our Atlanta scooter accident lawyers provide important information about scooter and moped laws as well as safety issues.

Georgia law defines a moped as a vehicle that has the following characteristics:

  • Maximum speed of 35 miles per hour
  • Engine size limited to 50 cc's of power
  • Cannot require use of a clutch or gearshift

When riders operate a scooter or moped with these characteristics, they must satisfy the following criteria. The rider must be at least 15 years-old with a limited permit, instructional permit or valid driver's license. While some riders assume that mopeds and scooters do not pose a risk to the safety of motorcycles that have a lot more power and that travel at much higher speeds, Georgia motorcycle helmet laws apply to these two-wheeled vehicles.

Although young riders often think scooters and mopeds do not pose a risk of injury comparable to motorcycles, these vehicles include many of the safety limitations associated with motorcycles. When the operator or passenger on a scooter get struck by a red light runner in an intersection or rear-ended while stopped for a traffic interruption, the diminutive two-wheeled vehicle offers almost no protection from injury. A moped lacks the reinforced passenger compartment, seat belts, airbags, bumpers, crash avoidance systems, and similar safety features that drivers often take for granted in a passenger car. These two-wheeled vehicles also are relatively small, so they fit in spaces where drivers of passenger vehicles might not be inclined to expect a vehicle. The narrow wheelbase also makes mopeds less stable like a motorcycle.

These safety limitations are even more troubling because some research suggests that mopeds are at least as dangerous, or potentially even more dangerous than a motorcycle. A study reported in Accident Annal Prevention found that the moped accident rate was four times higher than motorcycle accident rates after adjusting for distance traveled on each type of motorized bike. However, the authors indicated further research with larger sample sizes were needed to confirm these results.

Many motorists that collide with people riding motorized bikes violate safety rules or otherwise drive unsafely in other ways. Some of the forms of negligent conduct that cause scooter accidents include, among others:

  • Vehicles unsafely executing a left turn into or in front of a scooter or moped
  • Motorists following scooters at an unsafe distance
  • Drivers who are inattentive or distracted
  • Failure to adjust driving based on weather and traffic conditions
  • Drunk drivers or those intoxicated by marijuana
  • Operating a motor vehicle at an unsafe speed

Put Our Law Firm's Over 32-Years of Legal Experience to Work For Your Case!

If you or someone close to you is injured in a motor vehicle accident, our experienced scooter accident lawyers are committed to pursuing the fullest monetary recovery under the law for our clients. Montlick and Associates has been representing those who suffer serious injuries throughout Georgia and in the Southeast for over thirty-two years, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state. No matter where you are located, our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you.

Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.

Sources: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23631933

Montlick & Associates, Attorneys at Law
17 Executive Park Dr NE
Atlanta, GA 30329
Telephone: 1 (404) 529-6333
Toll Free:   1 (800) LAW-NEED
Hours: Open Today · Open 24 hours

Category: Auto Accidents

Please Note:
Many of our blog articles discuss the law. All information provided about the law is very general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Every situation is different, and should be analyzed by a lawyer who can provide individualized advice based on the facts involved in your unique situation, and a consideration of all of the nuances of the statutes and case law that apply at the time.