As people in Los Angeles survey the options for getting around town, they may look for something less expensive than a motorcycle and less physically intensive than a bicycle. A moped may be the right blend of options on L.A. streets.

Mopeds can get riders to their locations fairly quickly and they can keep up with vehicle traffic a little better than bikes and skateboards. But whether you use them for fun or for commuting it’s important to remember the dangers anytime you’re out in Los Angeles traffic.

Moped Accident Risks In Los Angeles

Mopeds travel at slower, safer speeds than motorcycles but the accident rates are often similar each year.  One study found the crash rates, considering miles traveled, were nearly four times higher for mopeds than for motorcycles and scooters.

Accidents may generally happen at slower speeds, but a distracted driver can fail to see a moped coming as they make turns and weave in and out of lanes. The inattention can cause devastating crashes and send moped riders hard to the pavement.

At Los Angeles Bicycle Law we want to protect anyone who chooses to travel by something other than large cars, SUVs, and trucks. Victims on alternative forms of transportation can be at much higher risk for severe injuries in accidents.  Our attorneys want to make sure these victims aren’t taken advantage of by insurance companies who like to blame people on mopeds for their own accidents. The driver who caused the accident should be the one to worry about the victim’s hospital bills and other expenses after a collision.

Common Situations that Lead to Moped Accidents

The list of danger factors for mopeds reads much like the common hazards that motorcyclists face in traffic.

The problems start with distracted drivers who often claim they can’t see mopeds on the road. They make the same claim about motorcycles and mopeds are smaller and generally sit even lower. The visibility excuse is usually given to cover up the fact that the driver didn’t check his or her mirrors and blindspots properly.

These mistakes all lead to a driver starting a maneuver with their car or SUV they shouldn’t. Here are just a few of the usual scenarios that lead to impacts:

  • Vehicle Turning Left – For some reason drivers turning left across oncoming traffic will glance up and completely miss a bicycle, motorcycle, or moped coming from the opposite direction. Even when mopeds have lights on. Riders suddenly have a large vehicle turn right in front of them with little chance of avoiding a collision.
  • Lane Splitting – When a moped shares a lane with other vehicles. Lane splitting is legal in California but drivers often don’t notice a moped directly beside them. This can lead to a dangerous turn in front of the rider.
  • Unsafe Lane Changes – As previously stated, a driver paying attention to other things, like their phone, can switch lanes without realizing there’s a moped alongside. This dangerous move can also happen in merging lanes.
  • Rearend Collisions – Even with brake lights on, drivers may not notice that a moped is coming to a stop in front of them. They may not realize how close they are to the moped and nearly run through the smaller vehicle.
  • Dooring – People in parked cars can swing their doors open in front of the moped they didn’t see coming. The door creates a large, solid obstacle for the moped rider.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you need a license and insurance to ride a moped?

Yes and yes.

The California DMV and DOT detail the requirements for moped riders. Riders need a motorcycle license with an M-1 or M-2 endorsement. You also need the same minimum insurance required for a motorcycle. You need a special moped license plate and identification card to ride. Mopeds should not exceed 30mph. You must wear a helmet.

What if I was partially to blame for my accident?

If you feel you were to partially to blame in an accident, the other driver at-fault can still be required to compensate you for some of the damages.

This legal concept is known as comparative damage. It may be determined that you were 25% at fault in the accident, and a speeding driver may be assigned 75% of the blame. Then if you are awarded compensation, your 25% liability would be subtracted from the total.

What kind of losses can I include in a claim for damages?

A civil lawsuit can ask for compensation for many of your physical, emotional, and financial hardships after an accident.

Your accumulating medical bills will be included in a claim, and that includes any rehabilitation costs expected in the future. You can claim every missed paycheck you’ve lost while you’ve been unable to work. Travel expenses can be demanded in your lawsuit. You can also request that physical and mental anguish can be compensated.

Contact a Los Angeles Moped Accident Attorney

If you’ve suffered an injury on a moped caused by a careless driver, don’t leave your recovery to chance. Let a local moped accident lawyer fight to get the compensation you’ll need to heal and get back to a normal life.

At Los Angeles Bicycle Law, we concentrate our practice solely on moped riders and other micromobility riders who have been injured as a result of the carelessness and negligence of others. If you were injured in an accident in Los Angeles or anywhere else in Southern California, contact us right away for a confidential free consultation and case review.