Are Mopeds and Scooters Considered Motorcycles?
If you don’t ride, then you might think that every two-wheel vehicle is the same. But Florida law treats motorcycles differently from other popular types of motorized vehicles, such as mopeds and scooters. But even though there are differences as far as the law is concerned, the unfortunate reality is that accidents involving motorcycles, mopeds and scooters can lead to devastating injuries.
The personal injury attorneys with Jones Law Group will be ready to help if you’ve been hurt in this kind of accident and it wasn’t your fault. We will be ready to take the legal action needed to make sure you receive all of the compensation you have coming for the suffering you’ve had to endure. We have a great deal of experience in these types of cases, and we also have a long track record of success.
Motorcycle vs. Motor Scooter vs. Moped
Motorcycles are obviously more powerful than motor scooters or mopeds. They have louder engines and more complex transmissions. Most mopeds and scooters either have pedals or a platform for operators to place their feet, while motorcycles have foot pegs. Also, motorcycles go much faster, and their wheels are larger.
What is a Motorcycle?
According to the NHTSA (National Highway Safety Traffic Administration), the general definition of a motorcycle is a vehicle that provides “motive power,” and has a saddle or seat. It is designed to travel on no more than three wheels.
What is a Motor Scooter?
A motor scooter is typically designed to run at a speed of no more than 30 mph, while a motorcycle can easily go 100 mph or more. It usually has a larger engine displacement than a moped, typically between 50-250 cubic centimeters (cc). Unlike motorcycles or mopeds, riders stand during operation, rather than sit.
What is a Moped?
A moped also typically tops out at 30 mph, but it has an engine displacement of 50cc or less. Mopeds use an automatic power-drive system, making it necessary to manually shift gears.
How Are These Vehicles Classed in Florida?
Florida doesn’t make a distinction between motorcycles and motor scooters. If a vehicle’s engine has a displacement of 50cc or more, it’s considered a motorcycle. While mopeds aren’t considered motorcycles, they still need to be registered. Riders also can’t legally operate a moped on a sidewalk or a bicycle lane.
What are the Licensing Requirements for Each Vehicle?
In order to legally ride a moped on a public road in Florida, you have to be at least 16 years old and have a Class E driver’s license.
Riding a motorcycle or a motor scooter is a different matter in regard to licensing. If you ride any vehicle with an engine displacement of 50cc or more, you’ll need to have a motorcycle endorsement on your Class E license. Florida riders must take an approved motorcycle skills course in order to obtain the endorsement. The course typically consists of 15 hours of training.
You can obtain a motorcycle-only license if you prefer. This involves taking the same written test as if you were getting a Class E license, as well as a TLSAE (Traffic Law and Substance Abuse Education) course.
Are Motorcycle, Moped, and Motor Scooter Riders at Risk for Accidents?
No matter what type of two- (or three-) vehicle you choose to ride, it’s an incredible amount of fun. The downside is that it can also be extremely dangerous. Even if you do everything you can to avoid an accident, that doesn’t mean others on the road are as conscientious. More than 80,000 motorcycle accidents that led to an injury occurred in 2019 alone, according to the Insurance Information Institute. That comes out to about 220 injury-causing accidents every day across the country.
Why are motorcycle, moped and motor scooter riders at an increased risk of being hurt? There are a lot of factors involved. Maybe the most important is that car and truck drivers often don’t expect a rider to be on the road with them at the same time. As a matter of fact, they often can’t even see a rider until it’s too late to avoid a collision. The size difference between the typical car and two-wheel vehicle is enormous, making the consequences even more serious.
Common Injuries After Scooter, Motorcycle, or Moped Crashes
Every rider, even those on mopeds going at a slow speed, should always wear a helmet as well as other protective gear whenever they’re on the road. If they don’t, they’re at risk for suffering a wide range of horrible injuries. These are just a few:
- Traumatic brain injury
- Broken bones and fractures
- Spinal cord injuries
- Internal injuries
- Road rash
- And many others
Any sort of catastrophic injury can also result in severe emotional trauma that can last for decades. Not only do injury victims have to undergo extremely expensive treatment for their physical ailments, they may also have to go through counseling to deal with the mental issues that can result from an accident as well.
What to Do If You’re Involved in an Accident
Obviously, any sort of vehicular accident can be incredibly frightening – the experience can be even worse when you’re on a motorcycle, a moped or a motor scooter. However, as scary as the situation may be, you’ll need to try and keep your head and do the following. It could make a huge difference regarding your ability to get the money you deserve for the damages you’ve incurred.
- Get the contact information of the motorist who hit you – including their insurance information.
- Get medical attention immediately.
- Contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Your attorney can conduct an investigation into the accident, gathering the evidence needed to show you weren’t at fault.