Anybody that has recently had to fill up their car with gas may have balked at the price they paid. Many of us have started to dream of the freedom and price tag that a motor scooter could offer for our regular commuting. From our perspective as South Carolina motor scooter accident attorneys, we want to make sure you consider all aspects of transitioning out of a vehicle and into a motor scooter. One of the most significant issues that we face with our clients is the safety of a motor scooter in South Carolina.
What is a Motor Scooter?
Many people may look at motor scooters and believe that they are the same thing as a motorcycle. However, there are some distinct differences that you should know before leaping. Both motorcycles have electric or gasoline-powered engines. Additionally, while they frequently both have two wheels, there are some versions with three wheels. These vehicles are often referred to as motor trikes. Motor scooters typically range in size from 50cc to 850cc, while motorcycles can have even larger engines.
One of the primary differences between motorcycles and motor scooters is that motor scooters have different frames. These frames are called a step-through because riders don’t have to lift their leg over the seat. Additionally, feet rest flat in front of you instead of on footpegs to the side.
The Safety of a Scooter
Because motorcycles and scooters have a similar appearance (and require similar licensing), many people believe that safety is equal. However, some differences can make a scooter both safer and more dangerous, depending on your circumstances. Motor scooters are more petite than motorcycles so that they can be more maneuverable.
Due to the generally smaller engine size of scooters, they cannot go as fast as motorcycles. While you might believe that this equates to safer operation, it may be the opposite. Studies suggest that more speed-related accidents occur on roads with a posted speed limit of 35 mph or less. Additionally, many motor scooters are 50cc and do not require a license or motorcycle endorsement, so riders may have less experience and be more prone to accidents.
Some other issues are the generally smaller wheels than motorcycles. Therefore, scooters are less stable than motorcycles and are more likely to crash because of potholes or road debris.
Many drivers and riders already know that motorcycles are at a disadvantage because many drivers are not looking for them. Motor scooters tend to have an even smaller profile than motorcycles, and people are even less likely to see you on a motor scooter.
Finally, many motor scooter riders don’t prepare the same as motorcycle riders. This means that they may be less prone to wearing safety equipment than other riders. Wearing a proper helmet, jacket, pants, shoes, and gloves can help to reduce the extent of injuries if you are involved in an accident.
If you decide that riding a motor scooter is the best option for you, we recommend that you take a course to help familiarize yourself with the operation of a scooter. Additionally, be sure to drive defensively, and always wear your safety gear to keep safe on the roads.
If you have been injured in a motor scooter accident, please give us a call to discuss our legal rights and options.