How Safe Are Motor Scooters in Georgia?
March 22, 2023 | J.L. King
With fuel prices rising, greater numbers of Georgia’s motorists are continuously seeking alternative ways to commute around town without breaking the bank. In response, fuel-efficient motor scooters are becoming an ever-popular means of transportation across the state.
These vehicles are significantly cheaper than motorcycles and cars, and their small engine size offers simplicity, convenience, and excellent gas mileage. However, as fun and exciting as motorscooters seem, they can be just as dangerous as any other vehicle on Georgia’s roadways.
Due to their small size and low speeds, crashing a motor scooter can result in serious injury. Therefore, practicing safe driving, wearing protection, and understanding Georgia’s laws and licensing requirements are essential.
Motor Scooter–Specific Laws in Georgia
Under Georgia law, motor scooters are bound by the same traffic laws and regulations imposed by the Department of Driver Services (DDS) as most other motor vehicles, which means there are no particular special road rules designed for scooters across the Peach State.
Georgia law defines a motor scooter as a two- or three-wheeled vehicle powered by an engine with a displacement of 50cc or less and a top speed of 30 mph. The vehicle is officially considered a motorcycle if its engine displacement is more than 50cc or if its maximum speed exceeds 30 mph.
Due to lower speeds and laws that prohibit driving them on freeways, a scooter can be relatively safe. However, Georgia law still requires that all motorscooter riders always wear a helmet.
Helmets must meet the safety standards set by the Department of Transportation (DOT). Additionally, motorscooter riders in Georgia must hold a valid Class M driver’s license to operate a scooter.
Failure to comply with Georgia’s laws and licensing requirements can result in financial penalties, impounding, and a suspended license.
Motor Scooter Accident Statistics
According to figures published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2019, there were at least 5,014 motorcycle fatalities across the United States. However, the NHTSA did not differentiate between motor scooters and motorcycles in these statistics.
Furthermore, research and statistics on motor scooter accidents are limited in the United States due to their niche status. Far more people drive cars and motorcycles than they do motorscooters.
A study conducted by the National Library of Medicine suggests that motor scooter riders are more likely to drive unhelmeted than motorcyclists due to the casual nature of these vehicles.
Additionally, their poor handling and lower driving speeds make scooters more likely to crash in curbs and undivided highways. Most importantly, more than half of severe scooter crashes are sustained by people who don’t possess valid licenses to operate one.
As such, when drivers fail to follow safety protocols, the risk of injury increases significantly, so if you drive a motor scooter in Georgia, you can enjoy a relatively safe experience provided you follow all posted traffic laws, wear a helmet, and pass the required tests.
Motor scooters can be an efficient and fun form of travel, especially if you want to save money on gas, but as with all other vehicles, they can also be dangerous.
If you plan to drive one of these small-engined rides in Georgia, you must follow the state’s scooter-specific laws and regulations. Motorscooters and motorcycle accidents are notorious for the injuries they inflict. Even a low-speed crash can result in catastrophic injury, so safety is critical if you decide to swap your car for a scooter.
Before you hit the streets of Georgia with your new ride, you must apply for a Class M license from the DDS, pass the written and skills tests, and ensure your motor scooter and helmet comply with any special requirements and regulations.
By following the law and driving efficiently, you can ensure your motorscooter experience is safe and enjoyable.
Contact Our Personal Injury Law Firm For Help Today
For more information, please contact The King Firm at your nearest location to schedule a free case evaluation today.
Or if you would prefer to reach out to us online, please visit our contact us page.