How Safe Are Motor Scooters in San Diego?

Motor scooters have become popular in urban areas, including San Diego. They are efficient and low-cost forms of transportation. However, how safe are motor scooters?

What Are Motor Scooters?

Motor scooters are motorized, two-wheel vehicles similar to a motorcycle. They have a seat for the rider, a step-through frame, and a footrest platform. A motor scooter in California is not a moped. A slow moped is smaller and generally operates at lower speeds than a motor scooter. 

Motor scooters are prone to the same types of accident and crash risks as motorcycles. However, motor scooters are smaller than motorcycles. They are designed for one rider and have smaller engines. Many motor scooters have electric-powered engines.

Under California law, motor scooters are either motor-driving vehicles or motorcycles. The classification depends on the size of the motor. The size of a motor scooter engine is generally between 50cc and 250cc. A motorcycle’s engine is 150cc or greater. 

Motor scooters and motorcycles must be registered with the DMV, and drivers must have an M1 motorcycle license. 

Motor Scooters and Traffic Accidents

Motor scooter riders encounter many of the same risks and problems that motorcyclists do. 

Motor scooters are smaller vehicles, which makes them more difficult to see in traffic. They have only two wheels, making them more difficult to control under certain driving conditions, such as poor weather or defective roads. Loose gravel and road debris can also cause a rider to lose control of the scooter. 

Other motorists often do not keep a careful watch for motor scooters as they travel around San Diego. Sadly, this fact increases the risk of a motor scooter accident.

Some of the common causes of motor scooter accidents in San Diego include:

Distracted Driving

Motorists are distracted while driving for numerous reasons, including using a cell phone, eating, and reaching for objects. Motor scooter riders need to keep a careful watch for drivers who might fail to yield the right of way or make an improper lane change. Distracted driving can also lead to rear-end accidents involving motor scooters – because the driver may not notice the scooter in time to stop before crashing into its rear.

Speed and Aggressive Driving

Speeding or aggressive driving endangers everyone on the road, including motor scooter riders. Drivers may become impatient because a motor scooter is traveling at a slower speed. The driver may engage in aggressive behaviors to move around the motor scooter, resulting in a sideswipe accident. 

Impaired Driving

Motorists and motor scooter riders can be guilty of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Impaired driving increases the risk of a motor scooter accident. Never ride a scooter or drive while impaired. 

Injuries Caused by a Motor Scooter Accident

Another risk faced by motor scooter riders is the risk of catastrophic injuries in an accident. The scooter rider may wear a helmet and protective gear, but that does not prevent all injuries in a crash. 

The rider does not have the protection of a vehicle’s frame, airbags, and seatbelts during a crash. Therefore, the rider can be thrown from the motor scooter during a collision. The rider could also be pinned or crushed by the vehicle. 

Common injuries sustained in motor scooter accidents include:

The severity of a motor scooter injury can result in permanent impairments and disabilities. 

Motor Scooter Safety

Riders can reduce their risk of serious injuries by wearing a motorcycle helmet and other protective gear. They should follow all traffic rules, including San Diego ordinances for motor scooters. Wearing brightly colored clothing can also help other motorists see the rider and the scooter. 

Can scooters ride in bike lanes in California? Yes, in some cases, motor scooters can use bicycle lanes. It depends on the vehicle and local ordinances. 

Who is Responsible for Damages Caused by a Motor Scooter Accident?

As with other traffic accidents and motorcycle accidents in San Diego, the driver who caused the accident is responsible for the damages caused by the crash. Therefore, you must prove that the other motorist caused your motor scooter accident to recover compensation for your damages. However, if you are partially to blame for causing the accident, your compensation can be reduced under California’s comparative negligence laws.

After a crash, call 911 to report the accident. If possible, take photographs or videos of the accident scene with your cell phone. Ask witnesses for their names and contact information. 

Seek medical attention for your injuries as soon as possible. It is best not to discuss the accident or your injuries with anyone, including the insurance company, until after you seek legal advice from a motor scooter accident attorney. 

Contact Our Accident & Injury Law Firm in San Diego Today To Get More Information

If you’ve been injured in a motor scooter accident, please call Mission Personal Injury Lawyers for a free case evaluation with a personal injury attorney or contact us online.


Mission Personal Injury Lawyers
2515 Camino del Rio S Suite 350, San Diego, CA 92108
(619) 777-5555