A teenage rider was injured on Wednesday, August 28, 2008, when his moped made contact with a school bus in the Indianapolis area.
Officers with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department report that an unidentified driver was operating the bus on behalf of Indianapolis Public Schools as it traveled north along Temple Avenue. As the bus approached 11th Street, around 4:45 p.m., the driver observed a moped enter the intersection.
Paramedics responded to the scene and transported the rider, a 19-year-old male, to Wishard Memorial Hospital for treatment. It is unclear whether any students were on board the bus, but apparently, no occupants were hurt.
Investigators say the moped's operator failed to yield. Sadly, such accidents appear to be on the rise.
Transportation and economic experts point to high fuel prices to explain the incerased usage of small vehicles, such as moped. Harley-Davidsons, Kawasakis and choppers have gained an increased presence on the roadways, along with other motorized bikes.
Accidents, such as the one last Wednesday, should serve as a reminder to other drivers that the roadways demand our constant attention. Riders are much more vulnerable than other travelers and the responsibility falls upon everyone to help protect their safety.
According to the Indiana University Public Policy Institute, 192 mopeds were involved in traffic accidents in Indiana in 2008. Of those, 547 resulted in injury to the driver, 16 in the death of the driver and 69 in injury to the passenger.
Indiana code defines mopeds as vehicles with two or three wheels, a cylinder capacity of 50 cubic centimeters or less and a horsepower rating of less than 2, as well as an automatic transmission.
The numbers collected suggest that helmets were worn in only 14 moped accidents in 2008, just 1.8 percent. Helmets were not used in any of the 16 fatal accidents.
In 35 moped accidents in 2008, the operator was found to be impaired. Impairment was considered a factor in 22 moped accidents with injury and six reslulting in death.
While mopeds have distinct advantages, such as cost and fuel-efficiency, riders should consider the safety risks inherent in such small vehicles.
Mopeds offer an attractive transportation option for teens. Under Indiana law, moped riders must only be 15 years old and carry a state identification card when operating. Those between 15 and 18 must use a helmet and vision-protection equipment while riding.
In many instances, suspended drivers are able to operate mopeds, even when traditional vehicles are off limits.
If you've been injured in a motorcycle accident, Keller & Keller has an experienced Indiana motorcycle accident attorney who can work on your case.