Moped, Scooter or ATV Accidents
As the price of gasoline began to skyrocket in the late 2000s, more and more people began to look to alternative forms of transportation to ease the cost crunch. Many people leaned towards the cheaper, newer types of transportation known as mopeds or scooters.
Unfortunately, the popularity of mopeds and scooters led to an increasing amount of traffic accidents involving those vehicles due to visibility problems of drivers seeing the smaller, quicker vehicles on the street.
Additionally, confusing laws regarding whether the mopeds or scooters were to be treated as bicycles or vehicles on Indiana roads, streets and highways also contributed to the increasing accidents as both drivers of cars and mopeds struggled to abide the traffic laws.
New laws require license plates and State identification cards for drivers of 50cc cubic centimeter engine vehicles like scooters and mopeds and mini-bikes or mini-motorcycles. Drivers can still drive, however, without licenses or insurance (Indy Star Article).
There is also the question of "where" the moped or scooter driver is supposed to drive on the road in Indiana. Every driver has seen a moped or scooter driver operating his or her scooter on the side of the road, near the shoulder, trying to operate as closely as possible to the fog line. This often results in cars, trucks and other vehicles attempting to pass the mopeds and scooters, often coming dangerously close to striking them and causing near-accidents.
Unfortunately, this method of "hugging the line" by the moped driver is incorrect and does not follow the rules of the road. Believe it or not, all scooter and moped drivers (and bicyclists for that matter!) are entitled to drive on the roadway in the same general position as any car, truck or other motorized vehicle. The other drivers are required to follow the rules of the road and act as if the moped, scooter or bicycle is another car of equal size. They are to be afforded room and not passed without being safely able to do so.
Many moped and scooter drivers operate by driving in the "bike lane," which is painted on many city streets in an effort to afford bicyclists safe areas within which to bicycle. Unfortunately, this is also unlawful as most municipalities enact ordinances that prohibit motorized vehicles from sharing the bike lanes with bicycles. This is for safety purposes. And it does not matter if the moped or scooter is being manually operated -- rather than motorized -- at the time of the operation. The prohibition is designed to allow bicyclists to pedal at a human speed and not have to evade motorized vehicles in such a short space on the road.
Many automobile drivers are not aware that mopeds and scooters cannot use the bike lanes and hurl epithets at those drivers as they pass.
Here at McKibben Shaw Law we believe that every accident is preventable. Every vehicular accident is due to someone's fault. You should not have to bear the brunt of the negligence of someone else.
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