| Added On January 28, 2010
With gas prices soaring, and the downturn in the economy not enabling people to afford cars, consumers have turned to scooters as a reliable mode of transportation.Whether it is the street legal Urban Temp 50cc by Roketa for $1,000 dollars or your good old reliable Honda scooter, sales are increasing. According to the Dallas Morning News on July 2, 2008, scooter sales had increased 24 per cent in the first half of 2008. It can be seen that motorscooters have become an extremely fashionable but dangerous means of transportation. Most individuals do not recognize that scooters are categorized as motor vehicles and must conform to highway regulations. State law regulates the operation of scooters, and scooters must conform to state code on motorcycle or moped laws. They are subject to the same laws as cars.
Just like motorcycles, scooters are more susceptible to accidents because they are open air vehicles and difficult to see. The identical safety rules apply. Wear protective clothing, wear a bright helmet, get your helmet fitted correctly, drive defensively, be cautious when lane sharing, and the like. Motor scooters also known as mopeds in the United States should consider themselves invisible in traffic. Bikers should not assume that drivers and motorists can see them. Two-thirds of all scooter-related injuries are to males. In one survey conducted in 2000, scooter injuries surpassed in-line skating injuries. The statistics of this study continue.
In 2000, the most recent study on scooters, there were nearly 40,000 injuries related to scooters that ended up in the emergency room. In one month alone, 8,600 injuries were incurred. And alarming statistics involve children.
Children younger than 15 are the most common scooter riders. You see them on the streets of the suburbs of warmer climates like Southern California. The kids ride on what looks like motorized skateboards on the streets. As soon as they are old enough, the kids graduate from bicycles to scooters. The statistics on these devices are frightening. About 90 percent of the injuries incurred in scooter crashes occur to children under 15. The study goes further. Nearly one third of injuries incurred in 2000 scooter crashes involved children younger than eight. Parents should note that the correct usage of helmets can decrease brain injuries by 85 per cent. It is also important to realize that brain injuries in children can be serious because their heads are larger proportionately than adults’ heads, so the children land head first. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recommends that children not be permitted to ride scooters without adult supervision. They also issued a press release advising scooter drivers to wear a bicycle helmet, knee pads, and elbow pads just as they advise inline skaters.
There have not only been injuries, but there have also been fatalities. Five deaths were reported in 2001. A man on a scooter in Albuquerque was struck down by a pick up truck on a road at night. In addition, a 12 year old boy from Spring Hills, Florida perished in 2001 when both he and his twin brother crashed with a car on their scooters. Finally, that same year, a 10 year old fell off his scooter and died. In 2000, two more deaths were reported. A Richmond, VA man died after hitting his head on a fall. Also, a 6 year boy was hit by a car while on his scooter in Elizabeth, NJ.
If you or a loved one are ever the unfortunate victims of a scooter accident, you should contact a reputable personal injury attorney like Ledger and Associates. We handle cases like this every day. Call us at 1-800-300-0001 for your free consultation.