How Safe Are Scooters & Mopeds In Florida?
When a 35-year old man mounted his motor scooter one March around 3:00 a.m., he surely had no idea it would be a life-changing ride. But when he was struck by a Toyota Camry, he was thrown from the scooter and taken to the hospital in critical condition. All indications are that the Camry driver was at fault, as he was arrested and jailed on several DUI charges.
While the victim of the incident above was injured at the hands of a drunk driver, anyone on a scooter, or moped is at risk every time they hit the road. That’s because they obviously do not afford the same protections as cars and trucks. Florida laws are pretty lax when it comes to these vehicles.
- Scooters: Motor and electric scooters can only be operated by a licensed individual 16 years old or older. Passengers are not allowed on these devices, and they are not allowed on highways. Additionally, there are many Florida cities that do not allow them on sidewalks. When on the road, operators must follow all traffic laws and need to stay to the right of the road except when making left turns. Safety gear like helmets are not required by law, although riders are likely to experience injury if unprotected.
- Mopeds: Mopeds riders must be 16 years old as well, and must hold a valid driver license or motorcycle license. They can be operated on the road, although they are not allowed on Florida highways since they cannot exceed 30 mph. They must be licensed and registered. Helmets and goggles are not required except for any passengers under the age of 16, although it certainly makes sense for anyone to wear them from a safety standpoint.
People rent and own these vehicles all over Florida. It makes sense to be aware of safety guidelines, whether or not Florida laws require them:
- Never ride without a helmet.
- Increase visibility by wearing brightly colored and/or reflective clothing.
- Pay attention to potential hazards like train tracks, potholes, gravel, and oil.
- Avoid riding in inclement weather.
- Drive defensively—don’t count on other drivers to keep you safe.
- Never ride after using mind altering drugs or alcohol.
- Make sure your tires are in good shape.
- Don’t load more people on the device than are intended for the vehicle.
After an Accident
No one plans on a serious or fatal accident when they hop on a scooter or moped, but sometimes the unforeseen occurs anyway. If you or a loved one has suffered due to the recklessness or negligence of another driver, the aggressive, experienced Kissimmee personal injury attorneys at Salazar & Kelly Law Group, P.A. can help. Schedule a confidential consultation today.