Have you been injured in a traffic accident while riding a moped or scooter? You may be entitled to seek compensation if you were injured in an accident caused by an irresponsible driver.
More Hoosiers are relying on mopeds and scooters for transportation because they are fuel efficient and some types of cycles do not require a license to operate. Because of their increasing presence on public roads and an increase in accidents involving these vehicles, Indiana has put in place additional laws regarding registration and licensing of mopeds and scooters.
If you’ve been involved in a moped or scooter crash, you want to talk with an Indiana scooter injury lawyer who has extensive experience handling personal injury claims involving motor vehicle accidents. At Craig, Kelley and Faultless, LLC, our attorneys have represented thousands of people who have been seriously injured and the families of those killed in vehicle accidents.
Moped and Scooter Registration Requirements
The State of Indiana instituted a new law in 2015 requiring the registration and licensing of mopeds and scooters. The law divides motor-driven cycles into categories based on engine size. The licensing and insurance requirements vary, so it is important to understand the registration laws so that you comply with the law.
According to the moped and scooter classifications, a Class A motor-driven cycle is defined as a vehicle with an engine size of no more than five horsepower with a seat for the rider and no more than three wheels.
Drivers of Class A scooters and moped are required to have a license and liability insurance. To operate a Class A motor-driven cycle on Hoosier roadways, you must have a valid Indiana driver’s license with either a motorcycle endorsement with an MDC-A restriction or a valid motorcycle learner’s permit. Motorists will need to provide proof of ownership and insurance when registering their vehicle at the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles. Riders under the age of 18 are required to wear helmets.
A Class B motor-driven cycle is defined as a motor vehicle with an engine displacement that does not exceed 50 cubic centimeters. Drivers of these less powerful moped scooters are not allowed to exceed 35 miles per hour and are not allowed to carry passengers. To drive a Class B motor-driven cycle on public roads, an individual must be at least 15 years old and have an unexpired identification card with an MDC-B endorsement. No insurance is required for a Class B vehicle.
Statistics on the rate of injuries to teen drivers of mopeds and scooters are troubling. A study by the Consumer Product Safety Commission estimated that two-thirds of emergency room-treated injuries related to power scooter accidents involved drivers less than 15 years old.
Moped Accident Statistics
Moped-related injuries are a growing proportion of all motorcyclist injuries in Indiana, according to the Indiana University Public Policy Institute. While accidents involving motorcyclists overall dipped 2.7 percent in 2016, the subcategories involving Class A and Class B motorized cycles increased significantly in Indiana.
- Class A Motor Driver Cycles — There were 243 accidents involving Class A cycles with 141 injuries and 10 fatalities
- Class B Motor Driven Cycles — There were 454 crashes involving Class B cycles with 322 injuries and 6 fatalities.
If your loved one has been injured in a scooter accident or moped accident, whether in a crash with another vehicle or due to a malfunction, a scooter injury lawyer may be able to assist. Craig, Kelley & Faultless LLC will work closely with parents to see them through a child’s personal injury or wrongful death claim.
Causes of Moped Accidents
Moped and scooter drivers have a responsibility to operate their vehicles safely and they should wear helmets for protection. But moped and scooter drivers may sustain severe and life-changing injuries in accidents caused by other motorists’ errors. All drivers have a responsibility to remain alert for other vehicles on the road, including smaller, slower-moving vehicles such as mopeds and scooters.
Accidents involving mopeds and scooters are often caused by:
- Irresponsible Car and Truck Drivers — The most common causes of traffic accidents are distracted drivers and impaired drivers. Drivers may be focused on a cell phone and not paying adequate attention to traffic on the road. Drivers may focus on large vehicles and overlook smaller vehicles such as scooters. Since mopeds move more slowly than other vehicles, a driver may approach a moped quickly without realizing the moped is present, particularly if the driver is distracted.
- Roadway Defects — Uneven road surfaces, broken pavement or potholes and other road maintenance issues cause the drivers of mopeds and scooters to lose control and crash.
- Inclement Weather — Adverse weather can make mopeds and scooters less visible to other motorists, leading to an accident.
- Driver Impairment — A driver who is impaired by alcohol or drugs is less alert, has slowed reaction time and is more prone to being involved in a crash.
Our attorneys stand up for injured moped operators and fight back against insurance companies that deny claims for injured moped drivers and scooters. We are prepared to seek the compensation you are entitled to claim from negligent drivers and government agencies that fail to adequately maintain roadways.
Avoiding Moped Accidents
Most scooter accidents involve one of several critical issues, according to the Motorcycle Safety Foundation. They are:
- Intersection collision
- Rider inexperience
Many collisions involving cars and scooters occur at intersections. Drivers scanning the intersection for oncoming vehicles fail to detect a scooter and turn into the scooter’s path, violating their right of way and causing a collision. Be alert and drive defensively. Assume cars don’t see you.
Drive within your ability and keep your speed in check. The faster you are driving the less time you have to avoid a collision.
Wear bright clothing and helmet to make yourself more visible. Choose your lane position to make yourself more visible to other riders.
Never drink and drive.
What to do if you are in a moped crash?
You should seek immediate medical treatment for your injuries. Even if you believe your injuries do not require emergency medical attention, you should go to a doctor for a medical assessment. Some potentially serious injuries such as closed head injuries may not be immediately apparent.
If another motorist is involved in the crash, you should get the name, vehicle registration and insurance information of the other driver involved in the crash if you are able.
You should report the accident to the police and wait for a law enforcement agency to arrive. While waiting, if it is safe to do so, you should take photos of the accident scene, including the position of the vehicles, damage to your moped or scooter and the injuries and you and your passengers sustained.
You should not discuss the accident with others involved, or make any comments about whether you are injured.
What laws do moped drivers need to be aware of?
Drivers of mopeds and scooters now must register the vehicles and have a license plate in Indiana.
Individuals operating a Class A or Class B motor-driven cycle must drive near the right edge of the roadway. The vehicles are not permitted to be driven on interstate highways or sidewalks.
If you have a valid Indiana driver’s license with an unrestricted motorcycle endorsement, you are legally permitted to operate all classes of motor-driven cycles, including mopeds, motor scooters and motorcycles.
Are moped accidents as dangerous motorcycle accidents?
Moped drivers are as vulnerable to injury as motorcyclists if struck by another vehicle. Mopeds travel at slower speeds so do not offer any protection.
Some mopeds have small engines and relatively low top speed. But if a faster moving vehicle hits you while you are riding a moped, you can suffer serious injuries.
What to do if you hit a moped driver
If you hit a moped driver, you are required to stop at the scene of the accident and render aid. If you panic and leave the scene of the accident, it can result in revocation of your driver’s license.
You should try to remain calm and check the condition of the driver and call 911 to summon an ambulance if needed. Assess whether anyone involved is in danger of being struck by other vehicles. Do not try to move an injured person unless they are in immediate danger from oncoming traffic.
You are required to report the accident to Indiana police if the crash resulted in injuries, fatalities or damages amounting to $1,000 or more.