Mopeds and scooters are popular transportation options, especially in dense and urban cities like Philadelphia. They are inexpensive, compared to cars or motorcycles, get better gas mileage than either of them, are easy to park, and can cut through traffic when other vehicles are stopped. This makes them popular for city-dwellers, students, and young people just breaking into the professional world.
However, scooters and mopeds come with hazards, too. Drivers of regular vehicles, like cars and trucks, tend not to expect scooters to be next to them on the roads. As a result, they might not be looking out for you when they make a turn or shift lanes until it is too late to avoid a dangerous collision. Unfortunately, these collisions are often very costly for a scooter or moped rider: Without the protection and safety devices that are frequently found in cars and other autos, people who ride scooters or mopeds can get seriously hurt or even killed in even small accidents.
This is why the personal injury attorneys at the Philadelphia law office of Gilman & Bedigian fight for the rights and interests of those who use scooters and mopeds to get around our city.
Causes of Scooter Accidents
Just like with car accidents, scooter accidents can come from a variety of different causes and can happen in a variety of different situations. However, according to the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF), the organization that writes the handbook on scooter safety, the most common causes of scooter and moped accidents are excessive speed or alcohol, and rider inexperience. Additionally, scooter and moped crashes happen the most often at intersections, where riders and other vehicle drivers are making decisions about where to go next.
Scooter or moped accidents do not always involve another vehicle, though. Many crashes are single-vehicle accidents, frequently occurring where streets are unpaved or hazardous because of either road conditions or adverse weather.
However, the most serious scooter accidents involve more than one vehicle. When a scooter or moped rider collides with a car or truck, the injuries that the rider can sustain are often serious, even if the accident did not happen at a high speed.
Scooter Accident Injuries
When you drive a car or a truck, you are protected by multiple thousands of pounds of metal and plastic around you. When you collide with something else – whether it be a stationary object or another vehicle – the force of your speed and the weight of your car transfer to whatever else is involved in the accident, effectively protecting you. Any safety devices you have in your vehicle, from airbags to seatbelts, add to this level of protection.
When you are on a scooter or a moped, though, you are much more vulnerable. With neither the weight of a traditional vehicle surrounding you nor the safety devices that they frequently come with, you are much more exposed if you get into a collision.
Because scooters and mopeds rarely have doors or walls on the sides of the vehicle, most scooter crashes result in severe bruises or broken bones to a rider's arms or legs. Additionally, back, neck or head injuries are common, especially if the collision happened at a higher speed. Finally, road rash, cuts, and other lacerations are typical if the collision ended with a scooter or moped rider being thrown from their vehicle.
Two ways that scooter and moped riders can protect themselves is through helmet use or by buying insurance. However, a study by the National Center for Biotechnology Information found that more than 90% of scooter and moped drivers were uninsured, and only 17% wore helmets. Not wearing a helmet significantly increases the risk of a head or a brain injury in a scooter crash. Not having insurance, on the other hand, makes it far more difficult to get someone else to pay for the injuries that you have suffered in a crash.
Philadelphia Scooter and Moped Accident Attorneys
This is where the attorneys at the Philadelphia law office of Gilman & Bedigian come into play. By representing scooter and moped drivers who have been victims of car accidents, we fight for your right to get the compensation that you deserve from those who caused your injuries. After all, you should not have to foot the bill when someone else was at fault.
Contact our Philadelphia law office online or at (800) 529-6162 to get the legal help you need to make a full recovery.