Police are investigating a crash that left a moped driver dead in southwest Miami-Dade Friday morning.
The crash happened near the intersection of Southwest 184th Street and 137th Avenue.
Miami-Dade Police officials said the crash involved the moped and one other vehicle and that the vehicle was unable to observe the moped in time before they collided.
The moped driver was pronounced dead at the scene. Their identity hasn’t been released.
The crash remains under investigation.
Florida is the destination for many vacationers. Different transportation modes are available like cars, motorcycles, scooters, mopeds and golf carts. While convenient, these vehicles can prove dangerous if operated negligently or without proper safety.
As motorized scooters gain popularity as a form of personal transportation in Florida and around the country, accidents involving these two-and-three-wheeled devices also continue to rise. Riders and pedestrians relatively unfamiliar with the operation of the machines make mistakes responding to them, and end up getting hurt. In cities and towns around Florida there is confusion about when, where, and how motor scooters can operate has also led to preventable incidents and severe injuries.
In Florida, a moped does need to be registered in order to operate on public roads, although they do not require a title.
SCOOTER v. MOPED?
A “scooter” is typically a way to refer to a two-wheeled transport vehicle with a smaller displacement engine than a typical motorcycle. The Italian Vespa is a classic example.
Scooters can be quite low-powered, especially the more affordable ones. Some “micro” scooters are just 10cc, and they can only go a few miles an hour on a flat surface. Typical scooters made for public road use typically have an engine displacement size of 40cc – 50cc, allowing them to reach speeds of 30 mph – 45 mph. However, larger scooters exist that are made for highway travel or “touring”. These scooters are commonly 100cc, 150cc, even up to 400cc. That’s as big or bigger than many of the most common street motorcycles.
A moped is a type of scooter that uses pedals to start the vehicle and sometimes to aid in propulsion. Riders have to pedal the vehicle a few cycles to start the crankshaft and begin the ignition process. The rider can also choose to use the pedals to aid in propulsion uphill.
One trademark characteristic of mopeds is that they are typically cheap and very low-powered. They may be just 20cc, although 50cc models are common. Their low power can make them dangerous to operate on public roads with speeds in excess of 30 mph, considering that they have difficulty keeping up with traffic.
SCOOTERS AND MOPEDS ACCIDENTS
People enjoy the feeling of freedom and the ease of ownership that comes with a scooter, motorcycle, or moped. It’s true that nothing beats the sensation of riding in the open air along the Treasure Coast or leaning through a turn to get through town.
Unfortunately, that freedom comes at the cost of protection. Scooters, mopeds, and other two-wheeled vehicles have no protection for the rider to speak of. They lack the canopy, doors, or windshields that protect cabin occupants in a typical car or SUV. Not only that but scooters and mopeds lack the girth that can protect something like a heavy motorcycle in an accident. The light weight of the vehicle means the rider can be flung far from the impact point, as all the impact force gets transferred to the driver.
Injuries are very likely when a scooter or moped is involved in a collision. Crash statistics for all motorcycle accidents in Florida show that 94% of the time when there’s a fatal accident it’s the motorcycle operator who dies. Further, 21% of motorcycle accidents result in incapacitating injuries, and 58% of motorcycle accidents result in non-incapacitating injury.
- Traumatic brain injuries, which can even affect riders who wear helmets
- Back and spine injuries
- Head, neck, and shoulder injuries
- Deep abrasions (road rash), sometimes requiring skin grafts
- Internal organ injuries
WHO IS AT-FAULT?
There are many parties who can share fault when a scooter or moped accident occurs.
- Another vehicle driver is the most common culprit. When a vehicle operator fails to obey the rules of the road or fails to exercise reasonable care, they can cause an accident and significant injuries to scooter riders. Some accidents even involve multiple vehicles, where several drivers may share fault.
- The scooter manufacturer could be to blame in part or in full, as well. When a vehicle fails to meet expected safety standards because of a flawed design or shoddy manufacturing, that is considered an unacceptable risk to the operator. If your scooter is subject to a recall or had a braking failure or some other failure prior to your accident, then it is possible you may be able to file a claim against the manufacturer.
- The public road operator or private property owner could be to blame. Some road designs are deemed dangerous, such as an intersection that fails to properly direct traffic in a safe way or a traffic light system that isn’t working properly. If an accident occurred in a construction zone, it is possible that the road construction contractor may be liable.
- Multiple liable parties, including if the scooter/moped operator somehow contributed to the accident. In Florida, all parties have to pay for their estimated percentage of liability. If the injured claimant has some portion of fault, their overall damages will be reduced by that portion.
WHO SHOULD I CALL?
For over two decades, the lawyers at Suarez & Montero have been helping accident victims and their families collect just financial compensation and see justice for their injuries and losses.
Call our law firm today at (305) 631-1911 to speak with one of our personal injury lawyers who will be able to inform you of your eligibility towards compensation for your injuries and losses that you may have incurred due to a recent accident.