Are Scooters Safe?

red vespa

When it comes to two-wheeled transportation, riders have a lot of options to choose from. Motorcycles are the most popular choice in North America. In most other places, surprisingly, scooters tend to be the most popular option.

There are a number of reasons why scooters are more popular than motorcycles in some places. They’re smaller, easier to maintain, easier to maneuver, and they enjoy better fuel economy.

The question some of you may have is – are scooters safe? You may also be wondering – are scooters safer than motorcycles?

Answering these questions is what we’re going to get into today in this post. If you have any other questions or concerns, let us know in the comments below. Otherwise, let’s jump right into it!

What’s the Difference Between Scooters and Motorcycles?

scooter controls

Before getting into whether or not scooters are safe, it’s important to look at the differences between scooters and motorcycles. In many respects, a scooter is comparable to a motorcycle in shape and capability.

Most scooters come equipped with two wheels and an engine ranging from 50cc all the way up to 700cc+. They’re controlled in a similar fashion and each have similar aspects to one another.

There are, however, some key differences to a scooter.

For starters, scooters come with a step through frame that make them easier to mount. There’s a small, wide platform for the riders feet as opposed to motorcycle foot pegs.

When it comes to engines, the most popular scooters range in size from 50cc up to 250cc. There are bigger engines available, although many riders choose the smaller, more fuel-efficient scooters.

Other unique scooter features include smaller wheels, bodywork design, transmission type, and storage space. Considering these differences and unique features, does this mean scooters are safer than motorcycles?

Are Scooters Safe?

red scooter with two scooter helmets

There is no exact, specific way to answer this question. The real answer would be – it depends.

There are a number of different factors that determine whether or not a scooter is safer than a motorcycle. It’s hard to look at statistics since many scooter statistics are combined with the motorcycle ones.

Generally, scooters are lighter, smaller, and easier to maneuver than a motorcycle. They’re usually not as fast and not as powerful.

While this doesn’t make scooters safer, it makes it so riders are less likely to get into serious trouble from a lack of skill or responsibility. Most scooters don’t go as fast as motorcycles and force you to ride at a more relaxed pace.

The problem when it comes to the motorcycle versus scooter safety debate is that you can’t predict everything is going to happen in heavy traffic. Drivers are unpredictable and riders are difficult to see, regardless of what they’re riding.

Both motorcycle and scooter riders will face to same weather and environmental conditions. This includes rain, blinding sunshine, and wind.

Riders are also likely to experience the same road conditions and traffic conditions as one another. At this point, it starts to come down to skill and experience that determines safety on a motorcycle or scooter.

Are Scooters Safer Than Motorcycles?

For the most part, scooters and motorcycles are equally dangerous. Let’s take a look at why.

Less Visibility

One of the biggest factors making scooters slightly less safe is the lower visibility. Scooters and mopeds are typically smaller than a motorcycle, making scooter riders even more difficult to see.

It’s especially dangerous in areas where people aren’t expecting to see motorcycle riders, let alone someone on a scooter. In areas where riding is popular, this will be less of an issue.

Consider wearing brightly colored, reflective gear when you’re riding on any public road. Any extra help with visibility should be taken advantage of.

Smaller Wheels

Another concern that puts scooters at a slight disadvantage to motorcycles is their smaller wheels.

Smaller wheels are less stable on the road and require a more upright position. With this in mind, scooter riders may have a better view of traffic since they’re not leaning over the engine.

Another issue with smaller wheels is that they’re more susceptible to small hazards in the road. This makes potholes, bumps, and road debris slightly more hazardous.

Lack of Proper Safety Gear

It’s unusual to see someone riding a scooter while wearing a full set of motorcycle safety gear. Sure, they might be wearing a scooter helmet, but that’s about it.

Compared to motorcyclists, scooter riders generally don’t wear the same safety equipment. They choose to ride without a proper jacket, gloves, or protective footwear.

This means that when a scooter is involved in a car accident they’re more at risk for getting hurt or injured. Whenever riding a scooter, it’s a good idea to always be wearing protective safety gear.

Scooter Safety Tips

Whether you’re riding a motorcycle or scooter, there will always be safety risks involved. Here are some helpful safety tips for how to ride safely on the scooter.

Wear a Helmet

Always wear a helmet whenever you ride your scooter. In the case of a crash or accident, it’s likely that your head will be the first point of impact.

Without a helmet, you could suffer from serious or fatal injuries. If you’re going to wear one piece of scooter safety gear, make sure that it’s a helmet.

Wearing a helmet also prevents dust, dirt, and other road debris from blasting you in all sides of your head. Helmets with visors are what we recommend, although any scooter helmet will do.

Ride Defensively

Assuming you took a motorcycle safety course, practice defensive riding whenever you’re on the road. Always have a plan for what to do if something goes wrong in front of you.

Maintain your lane position and avoid riding in vehicle blind spots. Signal your turns and lane changes. Always try to predict what the vehicles around you are going to do.

Defensive driving is the best way to avoid any accidents.

Be Visible

Reflective gear and bright colors will help you stand out when you’re riding in traffic. Wearing bright and bold protective gear will help to make sure you’re seen by other drivers.

When riding at night, reflective gear is even more important. Double check that your lights and reflective scooter stickers are working and present.

Ride Within Your Ability

Avoid taking any chances when you’re out riding your scooter. Traffic and congested areas are the most dangerous and require the most attention.

Never try to race other vehicles and make an effort to plan your passes if you’re on a smaller displacement scooter. Ride in the far right lane, maintaining your lane position at all times, and only changing lanes to pass on vehicles.

Despite motorcycle and scooters being very different from one another, it’s important to ride both as cautiously as possible. Follow traffic laws, be prepared for anything, and never leave home without protective gear.

Whenever you’re out on the scooter remember the mantra – dress for the slide, not for the ride.

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