For many urban commuters, a moped or motor scooter can be an economical way to zip around town. These gas efficient vehicles can get up to 100 MPG, making them economically a great choice for your wallet as well as easier to find a parking spot for in congested areas. However, just like their faster siblings the motorcycles, these vehicles leave their riders vulnerable to injury during an accident and have their own specific dangers as well.Illinois Motor Scooter/ Moped Laws
In Illinois, mopeds are considered a class subdivision of a motor-driven cycle. While motorcycle riders must obtain a Class L license, In Illinois you can ride a moped with a valid driver’s license without a Class L license as long as the two-wheeled vehicle you are riding meets certain restrictions. In Illinois this includes:
- No more than 20-30 MPH maximum speed within one mile
- A 50cc or less engine displacement
- An automatic transmission or transmission that does not require to be shifted
- 2 brake horsepower or less motor
Most mopeds fall under this classification, however many motor scooters may actually be classified under Illinois law as motorcycles, even though they are much smaller and slower. Riders would need to have a Class L license for these just like a motorcycle.Accident Risks For Moped/ Motor Scooter Riders
Mopeds were originally as cross between a bicycle and a motorcycle, combining self propelling with a back up motor. Subsequently, riders of these vehicles have a combination of risks that both bicyclist and motorcyclists endure when on the road. All have little protection to prevent injury in an accident and have a lower visibility by other drivers. However, mopeds and scooters have their own issues as well.
- Slow speeds. The slow speed of a scooter can be hard to judge for other drivers on the road, making them susceptible to rear end collisions. It also may be difficult for other drivers to tell exactly how fast a moped is going, causing them to pull out in front of them.
- Fast stops. A moped or scooter can stop much faster than a car, truck or even a motorcycle. These quick stops may not be anticipated by a close-following vehicle that may rear ended the moped.
- Roadway obstacles. A large pot hole, road defects or other roadway obstacles can affect a moped or motor scooter much differently than a four-wheeled vehicle or even a heavier motorcycle. These can cause the riders to lose control and possibly crash.
Due to the lack of protection while riding a scooter or moped, riders are at high risk for injury when involved in an accident. In addition, many riders may not have insurance to cover their injuries. A study done at the University of Florida looked at 5,660 moped crashes that happened in Florida between 2002-2008. Of all the riders, 90% of them were uninsured and only 17% wore helmets, making them very vulnerable to both injury and high medical bills.
Like motorcycle and bicycle riders, scooter riders are susceptible to head injuries that can cause long term problems in their life, requiring extensive medical treatment, time lost at work and many other expenses. In addition, bone fractures, lacerations, contusions and even limb amputation are possible when hit while riding a moped or motor scooter. The injuries can be very serious and expensive, making it important to seek legal help to ensure that the responsible party for the accident makes financial restitution for the injuries and expenses.Contact A Law Firm With Experience Litigating Moped Or Motor Scooter Injury Accidents In Chicago, IL
Medical bills and lost wages can multiply fast when you are injured, causing you even more problems after your moped accident. Don’t assume the responsible person’s insurance company is going to take care of all your expenses. Let our team of Chicago motorcycle accident lawyers help you get the compensation you deserve. We can handle the negotiations with the responsible party and their insurance company and get you the financial award you deserve. Our consultation is free and there is no need to pay for our services unless we obtain compensation for your injuries. Contact us today!
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