Virginia moped accident lawyers
Mopeds, sometimes called electric scooters, are popular across the United States, Virginia included. They can be a fast, affordable, and environmentally friendly way to get around. However, while most people think a moped’s lower speed means it is not dangerous, the truth is that moped accidents happen. And they can result in devastating injuries.
Sadly, car drivers, who are supposed to share the road, can act negligently, leading to catastrophic injuries for moped riders. When a moped and car collide, the person on the moped always loses.
Here are a few moped and scooter accident statistics to consider:
- The CDC put mopeds into a category responsible for more than 20% of traumatic brain injuries.
- On average, the NHTSA believes that those who ride motor bikes, mopeds, or scooters are 35 times more at risk of fatal injury than those riding in typical passenger vehicles.
- In 2014, the NHTSA reported 92,000 injuries and 4,295 deaths from motorcycle, moped, and scooter accidents across the United States.
We at GibsonSingleton Virginia Injury Attorneys have worked with many moped accident victims and their families. We have seen firsthand how devastating moped collisions can be. We have dedicated our careers to serving those who are hurt through others’ actions. So if you need outstanding, compassionate legal guidance, call us at (804) 413-6777. We don’t get paid until you do, so you never need to worry about cost.
Not every electric scooter is considered a moped and is subject to moped laws. According to Virginia Code § 46.2-100, a moped is a vehicle that:
- Travels on three or fewer wheels
- Runs on an engine that uses gas, electricity, or both, and is no more than 46 cubic centimeters
- Travels no faster than 35 mph
If you choose to ride a moped, take these steps to minimize your risk as much as possible:
- Wear a helmet and protective eyewear. It’s the law in Virginia.
- Wear tough fabric clothing to help prevent skin abrasions in case you’re in an accident.
- Make yourself as visible as possible to other drivers and pedestrians.
- Become familiar with and follow Virginia’s laws for mopeds.
While mopeds are not as strictly regulated as cars and motorcycles in Virginia, moped drivers still have to follow Virginia’s laws for mopeds:
- All moped drivers must be 16 years of age or older.
- Mopeds are not allowed on interstate highways or freeways.
- Mopeds must be registered to drivers before use.
- Moped drivers must wear a Department of Transportation (DOT)-approved helmet and eye gear.
- All moped drivers must carry a state-issued ID while operating their vehicle.
- Drivers who have had their driver’s license revoked due to a DUI may not operate a moped.
Unlike motorcycle drivers, moped drivers are not required to get a special license. In fact, they don’t even have to have a driver’s license, just a government-issued ID. That could be a passport or state ID, neither of which requires a driver’s test.
While car drivers and their insurance companies can try to use this against moped riders, moped riders have rights. And in fact, in a moped-car collision, the car driver is often the one at fault.
Moped riders are required to drive on the road, not the sidewalk. This is meant to protect pedestrians, because a moped going full speed can hurt them.
However, moped riders are themselves at greater risk when they are on the road. Why?
Mopeds can’t travel more than 35 mph, and most car drivers routinely travel faster than that. Driving a car behind a moped can make some drivers impatient, and even aggressive. Aggressive drivers are particularly dangerous because they often make rash, irresponsible decisions. Aggressive drivers may even take their annoyance out on the moped rider by driving too close or even hitting the moped from behind, causing a serious accident.
Like bicycles, mopeds are small and quiet. Many car drivers rely on their peripheral vision and hearing, rather than actively checking their mirrors or blind spots, to notice whether another vehicle is nearby. This kind of negligence is especially dangerous to moped riders, because it means they can be overlooked and hit by a car.
Common ways a car driver can cause a moped accident include:
- Neglecting to follow the right of way
- Failing to check for mopeds during a merge or turn
- Running a red light or stop sign
- Not signaling a turn properly
- Driving while distracted
- Driving while fatigued
- Driving while intoxicated
Car drivers may not view mopeds as actual vehicles and not give them the respect they deserve. Mopeds are small, relatively slow, and don’t require a license. So some drivers view them like bicycles, and refuse to share the road with them -- by ignoring the right of way and passing aggressively.
With all of these factors, it’s no wonder that many moped riders have been severely injured by cars.
While mopeds are made to be on the road, that doesn’t mean they can stand up to cars during a collision. Like motorcycle riders, moped riders are right out in the open -- with no walls, crumple zones, seatbelts, or airbags to protect them. When a negligent driver collides with a moped, the car always wins, and the moped rider is usually left with severe injuries.
Those injuries may include:
- Brain damage
- Broken bones
- Road rash
- Deep lacerations
- Spinal cord injuries
- Organ damage or internal bleeding
- Skull fractures
- Compartment syndrome
- Nerve damage
Wounds like these may take months to heal, and they can even lead to permanent disability. So, moped riders who can walk away with lesser injuries are actually the lucky ones.
Moped accidents, like vehicle collisions, can be fatal. If you have lost a member of your family to a moped accident, you are likely in shock and pain. While nothing can change what happened, you can seek compensation for the accident by filing a wrongful death claim against the responsible driver.
If you or your loved one were injured or worse in a serious moped accident, you need a helping hand. Moped collisions can be devastating, and the last thing you need to worry about now, while recovering from injuries or mourning a loved one, is fighting with an insurance company.
We at GibsonSingleton Virginia Injury Attorneys offer compassionate, expert legal help. As skilled motorcycle accident attorneys, we know the legal system inside and out, and we consider it a calling to put our experience to work for you. Call us at (804) 413-6777 to schedule your free consultation. We’ll tell you all of your options and help you determine the best path forward for your family.
It costs you nothing for our firm to represent you. We only get paid when you do. Learn more
Prevention, empathy, and diligence are hallmarks of everything we do at GibsonSingleton Virginia Injury Attorneys. Our community can see these ideals lived out in our work to prevent personal injuries from happening.
- Safety Education
GibsonSingleton launches “Texts=Wrecks” campaign to reduce the number of people injured or killed by distracted drivers.
- Annual Coat Drive
During the fall, our team works to distribute coats to people in need in our community.
- Hands-on Service
John and Ken join the Gloucester Point Rotary Club in cleaning up the community.
- Supporting Local Schools
The Gibson family participates in Gloucester’s Botetourt Elementary Shuffle fundraiser.