You may have noticed more and more mopeds or scooters occupying roadways in North Carolina these days. After all, there aren’t many requirements placed on an operator of these 2-wheeled machines. Not to mention the amount of money that drivers can save tooling around town in these small fuel efficient vehicles can be astronomical compared to a car, truck or SUV.
That said, our Gastonia personal injury lawyers want to reiterate the importance of using caution around these vehicles because they are often difficult to see or hear which can lead to a high rate of accidents if a motorist becomes distracted or aggressive while driving.
In the news recently were two separate moped accidents in North Carolina that resulted in serious injury and death. In the first accident, reports WECT, a car and moped collided in Brunswick County. The collision took place near the intersection at Sunny Point on Highway 87. The operator of the moped was taken to the hospital with serious injuries.
Fox Charlotte reports that the second moped accident in Charlotte took place on a Sunday evening while a man in his fifties was driving on Braewick Place. The male operator driving his moped crashed after laying the vehicle down along the asphalt.
A neighbor called 911 after hearing a loud crash. The male driver was taken to Carolinas Medical Center where he was pronounced dead after reportedly having trouble breathing following the crash. It is believed the operator of the 2008 Motive Power Industries Moped was driving under the influence.
If you are 16-years-old and own a helmet, you are permitted to operate a scooter or moped in North Carolina. Any scooter with no external shifting device, a motor size of 50cc or lower and travels less than 30mph on flat surfaces does not require registration, inspection, liability insurance or a valid driver’s license to be operated. Loose scooter or moped laws for the most part allow just about anyone to operate.
Scooters and mopeds may not be as big as a motorcycle or travel near as fast on roadways but it doesn’t make them any less dangerous. Driver inexperience plays a significant role in the number of accidents that occur in North Carolina or nationwide. Operators of 2-wheeled vehicles are always encouraged to take a training and safety course to learn more about how to handle the vehicle and how your machine operates mechanically.
Mopeds.net offers the following advice to beginner moped or scooter riders:
- Dress from head to toe in protective gear, including helmet, long pants, gloves and leather or denim jacket.
- Familiarize yourself with the inner workings of your moped or scooter. Try to gain knowledge about how to change tires, the power source and how the engine works.
- Perform routine checks on your moped or scooter, especially before taking it out on long trips. You can test the oil, check your headlights, test your brakes, and make sure the chains are oiled properly.
- Riders should stay off their cell phone and know what is going on around you at all times. Rural or uneven roads are particularly dangerous so be aware of other vehicles or obstacles on the road while traveling.
The Lee Law Offices, P.A. are an experienced and dedicated team of personal injury lawyers representing victims and their families in North and South Carolina. Call 1-800-887-1965 for a free initial consultation if you have been injured in a moped or scooter accident in Greensboro, Winston-Salem, Spartanburg or the surrounding areas.
One sent to hospital after accident involving car and moped, by Nikki Bussey, WECT.
Man Dies After Moped Accident, by John Ulatowski, Fox Charlotte.
Statesville Scooter Accidents a High Risk During Height of Motorcycle Season in North Carolina, North Carolina Car Accident Lawyers Blog, July 7, 2011.