The Law Offices of Steven T. Snow

Moped Accidents: Tips BEFORE Renting Mopeds on Summer Vacation

Written by Steven T. Snow on June 30, 2017
Moped accident in Oak Bluffs on Martha's Vineyard July 5th, 2017

Photo credit: Mark Lovewell Vineyard Gazette

In locales like Cape Cod, Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard, mopeds are as much a part of vacation as ice cream, the beach, and sunburn.

Unfortunately, horrible accidents do happen, as was the case just days ago on July 5th, 2017 when a 46-year-old woman was taken to Boston by Medflight after crashing into a Vineyard Transit Authority (VTA) bus. Just prior to this moped mishap was an accident for a young woman of only 29 from New York. She lost control of her moped on the corner of Pease’s Point Way South and Cooke St. in Edgartown.

Last summer two young women on a moped struck a truck in Oak Bluffs, sustaining serious injuries, including the loss of a leg by the 19-year-old moped driver. The debate over the dangers of moped riding on the Vineyard specifically dates back 40 years, with renewed vigor this year.

But long before you sit on the moped seat, fasten your helmet and turn the ignition key, you first need to be adequately insured for coverage in the event of an accident. Many situations could unfold with a moped rental or even by visiting a place that is popular for moped rentals.

Below are some questions to ask before renting or riding on a moped:

If I rent a moped, do I need to purchase an additional insurance policy from the moped rental shop?

At the heart of being safe from risks that result in a moped accident is finding out what your current policy covers and what your risk of loss is if an accident occurs.

Look over your auto insurance (policy) first. If you’re in an accident and are the moped operator, do you have medical coverage for yourself and for your passenger – or if you hit a pedestrian, for that person too?

Second, if you have one, check your umbrella policy. Umbrella policies pick up coverage where other policies stop and are a safety net when it comes to being sued.

Finally, examine what coverage you have under your homeowner’s policy for liability. Liability insurance covers you from claims involving bodily injury or property damages resulting from an accident.

If you don’t know these answers, call your agent and find out. If you do not have adequate insurance coverage or you are unsure of what coverage you have, purchase the moped insurance at the time of rental.  The old adage rings true, better safe than sorry.

What if I’m operating a moped and get in an accident?

Again, before you even rent the moped, make sure you are adequately covered for both medical and liability. Medical coverage is not only to protect you, but to cover the injuries to the other person or people involved in the crash.  The price you pay for the wind in your hair is that an accident on a moped is likely to cause more serious injuries than one in a car.

As with any accident, you will want to notify the police immediately.  Like motorcycles, mopeds are often not noticed by cars, especially ones driven by distracted drivers on vacation.  Having the police at the scene will help ensure there is a thorough investigation of who was at fault.

What should I know if I’m a passenger on the moped and we get in an accident?

Assuming the driver of the moped or the person who caused the accident has adequate insurance coverage, you will be able to make a claim against those policies if you are injured.  However, the smartest thing to do is ask the driver what coverage he/she has before you get on the moped.  Likewise, you should contact your car insurance agent and find out what coverage you have under your own automobile insurance policy (underinsured/uninsured) should you be injured in a moped accident.

What should I do if I witness a moped accident?

If you see a moped accident, call an ambulance and the police.

Driving cautiously while operating a moped is crucial, but you can’t control everything you face on the road.  Your long-term safety is best insured by adequate coverage.

Take precautions to be fully covered when you travel this summer.

If you have been injured on a moped as a driver or passenger or in any other accident, please call today at 508-477-7100. You are entitled to a free initial consultation.

LLR

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