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Are Motor Scooters Safe? Yes and No!

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Motorcycles

Are Motor Scooters Safe? Yes and No!

Larry Johnson
Amazines.com
December 17, 2005

Motor scooters have taken the world by storm. Sales have increased dramatically over the past several years, but are they safe on the city streets?

Motor scooters, both electric scooters and gas scooters, are a style of motorcycle that have a step through frame and have become a very popular method of travel all over the world. They have been scooting out of show rooms at record speed. But what many people do not realize is that motor scooters are classified as motor vehicles when it comes to highway regulations. And although they are an object of desire for many they can also be dangerous for many.

They are typically regulated by state laws as either motorcycles or mopeds and are subject to many of the same regulations as other motor vehicles. With a careful and alert driver a scooter can be as safe as any other vehicle on the road. But accidents frequently occur when motor scooter drivers think they are exempt from the conventions that apply to automobiles.

Motor scooters (sometimes called mopeds or go peds) are commonly purchased for use by children and teenagers, most of whom do not even possess a valid license to drive. Licensed drivers have had a certain amount of training behind the wheel of a car, unlike many motor scooter drivers under the age of 16. Without proper training children and young teenagers can easily find themselves in positions that experienced drivers normally would not.

Darting in and out of traffic with little driving experience, on a motor scooter that is so small it cannot be seen by other drivers, poses a hazard to both the scooter driver and other motorists traveling the highway. To be safe a motor scooter driver must think of himself as being invisible to the other drivers making their way down the busy streets. A scooter driver cannot assume that other drivers will see them.

A safe approach for a scooter driver would be to assume that they are completely invisible to other drivers and then act accordingly. A motor scooter rider must be ready to maneuver out of harm's if another driver makes a sudden unexpected movement. Being safe means staying alert at all times. Being safe also means following the rules of the road and not making unnecessary or risky moves in traffic that would cause their moped scooter to dart out in front of another moving vehicle. Automobile drivers must have time to react to a scooter driver's movements.

There are many reasons to own a motorized scooter. They are often used for traveling short distances around the neighborhood to perform errands. Due to their size, fuel-efficiency, weight, and typically larger storage room than a motorcycle, they are ideal in this situation. But in the hands of the youth, without any previous driving experience, they can be deadly.

The ATV, go carts, dirt bikes and mini bikes are other racing vehicles that are often owned and operated by younger drivers. ATVs are usually used off road along with dirt bikes and mini bikes. Go karts are typically driven on paved tracks specifically made for the go cart. The go kart, mini bike, dirt bike or ATVs don't usually get out on the open road where there are cars to contend with. Therefore they also avoid many of the dangers that scooter drivers must face.

Motor scooters are the latest craze, especially among the youth market looking for a quick, cheap form of transportation. These youths can be too young to own a driver's license, and the result is a dangerous situation. They are more popular than ever, but as their popularity grows, people's awareness of driving regulations has not kept pace, especially among the younger generation.

Kids often think of motor scooters as toys, not as adult vehicles. But a scooter is not a toy. It's a potentially dangerous motor vehicle subject to certain laws and regulations. Also, youth often think of themselves as being immune to automobile driving regulations and immune to accidents as well. "It won't happen to me" is a very common attitude among the youth. But it's precisely this attitude that can get them into trouble.

People need to be aware of the potential motor scooter dangers and take appropriate action. Scooter riders should pay special attention while driving, making sure not to drive erratically, but to be predictable and courteous to other drivers on the road.

Both kids and adults need training and experience before attempting to maneuver their scooters out in traffic. If parents will take a little time to train their children, making sure they are aware of the rules of the road before they are allowed to travel on them, it could make driving a pleasure instead of a danger. With a little training and some wise words of advice we can all make a difference in the lives of the youth. Give them some training and experience and their motor scooters may be an object of fun instead of injury.

About the Author:

J Larry Alan is a motor scooter enthusiast. He enjoys driving motorcycles and motor scooters. He also enjoys promoting scooter safety. For more information about motor scooters visit http://www.my-motorscooters.com.



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