Scooters and mopeds have become much more popular over the last several years because of the increasing cost of gasoline and diesel fuel. Commuters tired of spending hundreds of dollars per month to get to work have taken to riding the economical and fuel-efficient motor scooter.
If you are a new moped or scooter owner, or if you are considering buying a scooter, you might be wondering how risky it is to drive a scooter and what insurance is available to manage those risks.
Over 50% of scooter accidents involve collisions with another vehicle, and rider error represents over 25% of all motor scooter accidents.
A large percentage of these accident victims have had little or no training in how to handle a motor scooter, and the narrow wheels of this vehicle make it very unstable over rough ground, including potholes.
Because riders are largely unprotected, the rates of injury, even at low speeds, are greater than for auto drivers. For this reason, it’s important to have the right coverage in place to protect you in case an accident happens.
Scooters and mopeds are not as dangerous as traditional motorcycles, since their engines are not nearly as powerful. Typically, scooter engines are between 50 and 250 cubic centimeters (cc’s), and are usually at the lower end of that range.
Motorcycle engines, on the other hand, can be 5 to 10 times as powerful. This is particularly true of street bikes, or those vehicles commonly known as “crotch rockets.” The smallest road bike engines are usually no smaller than 500cc’s.
To put this into perspective, scooters with 50cc engines cannot usually achieve speeds over 30 miles per hour, while street motorcycles can easily reach speeds of 120 miles per hour or higher.
However, scooters and mopeds are much smaller than traditional motorcycles, and are therefore much less visible to motorists.
Scooter insurance may be required, depending on the scooter or moped insurance laws in place in your state. If it is required, the availability and cost will vary by jurisdiction.
To understand what is and is not required, check the laws in your state that govern the operation and insurance requirements of scooters and mopeds. A local independent agent in your area can provide the information you need to make sure you are in compliance.