Scooters and mopeds are an inexpensive way to travel short distances. They can save the owner significantly on gas and are certainly easier to find parking for than a full-size car. However, these vehicles present an increased risk of injury to the rider. First, they offer no protection to the rider other than whatever helmet and protective clothing the rider wears. Second, they are surprisingly hard to see from other vehicles, especially large trucks and SUVs. Third, many riders are inexperienced, which increases their risk of accidents. If you do decide that one of these vehicles makes sense for you personally and financially, we urge you to follow a few basic safety tips.
Always wear your helmet.
This seems like a no-brainer, but a surprising number of people are willing to travel short distances without a helmet. It’s easy to justify when you are just going a few blocks to run errands. However, city blocks are actually the most dangerous places to ride scooters and mopeds because of the constant turns and low visibility.
Signal for everything you do.
Remember, on a scooter or moped you are not only much smaller than the vehicles around you, you are also below eye level for many drivers. Even if you think you’re plainly visible, you should signal for every turn and every lane change. If you get the feeling that a nearby driver hasn’t seen you or isn’t giving you enough room, skip the turn if necessary. It’s far better to have to turn around or go around the block than to risk crossing paths with a vehicle ten times larger than yours.
Take a defensive driving class.
Look for a class near where you live or work that offers defensive driving tactics for moped or motorcycle riders. Consider the cost of and time spent on this class as an investment in your safety. Riding a two-wheeled vehicle is a very different experience than driving a four-wheeled one, and these classes will teach you how to safely maneuver among the much larger and faster vehicles on the road.
We hope that you enjoy using your scooter or moped along Southern California’s roadways and that you never have need of us. However, if you do, we are only a phone call away and will put our expertise in this area of personal injury law to work for you. Contact Steinberg Injury Lawyers, 24/7 at 1-800-350-8888 for a free case evaluation.