When it’s a bright, sunny day in West Palm Beach, without a cloud in the sky, there’s nothing most of us would rather do than take a nice, scenic drive down A1A on a scooter take in the beautiful views.
While scooters and mopeds are a fun alternative form of transportation, they are, however, dangerous to ride. Floridians have seen a recent uptick in scooter accidents across West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale, and Miami as the popularity of scooters has skyrocketed.
Many victims of scooter accidents suffer death or traumatic head injuries, as helmets are not required for those over 21 and there is essentially no protection for your body in the event of an accident. Understanding the laws and the dangers of riding your scooter on the road can save your life.
It’s important that if you decide to take a scooter down A1A or US1, that you understand the risks involved and more important, how to potentially avoid a life-threatening accident happening.
Scooters are smaller than motorcycles. South Florida is notoriously the most dangerous part of the state for motorcyclists and scooter drivers due primarily to car drivers not seeing them on the road.
As such, car blind spots are larger when it comes to sharing the road with scooters. Scooter drivers should take extra care and travel the roads with a high amount of vigilance.
When there is wet weather, which is quite common in Florida, not only are scooters particularly difficult to manage but all Floridians can attest to having difficulty on the roads during a rainy day.
While it is not illegal to take your scooter out in wet weather, you might consider avoiding driving when the roads are wet to avoid slipping while riding. But more important, to avoid the dangers that other drivers present during a rainy day.
Driving on Illegal Roads
Scooters below 50cc are not legally allowed on highways or interstates as vehicles need to have at least 5 brake horsepower and the ability to reach 40 miles per hour, which is not the case for most scooters with an engine under 50cc. And, if your engine was over 50cc, your scooter would actually be considered a motorcycle. If your scooter or moped does not have a saddle, it is not legally allowed on roads at all.
Even on roads where scooters are permitted, it is ideal to use lightly-traveled roads or roads where speed limits are close to your vehicle’s max speed (which is approximately 30 mile per hour).
Scooters can be handy in traffic, since driving between lanes is simple enough and time effective.
However, one of the most common scooter injuries occurs when drivers are hit by opening car doors. Car drivers are not likely to look for “lane splitters.”
Additionally, if you drive close to street-parked cars, those drivers are also not likely to look before throwing their door in your path.
Driving Under Influence
Even though scooters are far less powerful than cars, it is still unsafe and illegal to drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs (including prescription drugs).
All the other dangers listed above are magnified when your dexterity and response time is impaired. And while you may not pose much of a danger to other drivers, you will certainly harm yourself and possibly in an irreparable way.
Therefore, if you sustained major injuries and amass bills beyond what insurance will provide, your accident attorney can help you understand your options. You may be eligible for compensation in a personal injury lawsuit.
For more information about how a South Florida scooter accident attorney can help you with your case, contact the Gonzalez Levenson at 800-800-6500 or visit our website.