Electric Moped Usage Expected to Increase

Rental Programs Being Expanded Nationwide

Electric Moped Usage Expected to IncreaseIt may seem like electric scooters have taken over many American cities—companies such as Bird and Lime have seen phenomenal growth over the past few years. There’s another wave coming, though, say industry watchers and experts, as electric moped rental programs are becoming more available and more popular across the country. From Washington, D.C. to Atlanta, from San Francisco to Pittsburgh, it’s becoming easier and easier to rent, ride and drop off an electric moped. Users say they are often comparable to public transportation and typically cheaper than ride-share options such as Lyft and Uber.

The Difference between a Scooter and a Moped

One of the fundamental differences between a scooter and a moped involves the function of the motor. On a scooter, the motor is intended to provide all locomotion, whereas a moped acts more like a hybrid between a bicycle and a motorcycle. With a moped, the rider can still pedal and the motor augments pedaling. The laws governing (and even defining) electric mopeds vary from state to state. In California, for example, scooters and motorized bicycles don’t require a motorcycle-specific operating license and can be driven without being registered with the DMV. A moped, conversely, requires a specific motorcycle license (M1 or M2) and must be registered.

Thus far, electric moped sharing programs have not involved as much controversy as electric scooters. Advocates say that while scooters tend to be left just about anywhere, the mopeds typically must be left in designated motorcycle spots or street parking.

Contact the Proven Personal Injury Attorneys at Weber & Nierenberg

At the law offices of Weber & Nierenberg, we have helped injured people in California for over three decades, including people who have suffered needless injury in motorcycle and scooter mishaps. To set up a free initial consultation, contact us by e-mail or call our office at 1-866-288-6010.

Scooter Backlash—Increased Use Leads to Increased Complaints

Fatalities and Serious Injury Lead to Public Outcry

Scooter BacklashIf you’ve been in just about any major city in the last year, you’ve seen the onslaught of e-scooters, the new darlings of the “micro-mobility” industry. Experts estimate that as many as 85,000 such scooters are used every day across the United States. They can offer an easy way to get from one place to another, but they have been governed by a patchwork quilt of local regulations thus far. As injury and death tolls mount—a 2017 study found more than 1,500 injuries and 8 fatalities, a number that has increased dramatically in the last year—there’s been a bit of a backlash from consumers, who are asking government officials to take steps to protect public safety. In Oregon, some have even dumped the vehicles in the local river!

The e-scooters have many positive attributes:

  • They don’t use gasoline or carbon-based fuels
  • Payment is easy—typically done through an app on your phone
  • They travel four times as fast as you can travel on foot

Unfortunately, because of the way they are rented, it’s difficult to enforce measures that would improve the safety of both riders and others. For example, as a general rule, an e-scooter operator is supposed to be at least 18, wear a helmet, have a valid driver’s license and travel alone. There’s really no one to monitor these requirements, though, so the scooters are frequently taken by unlicensed individuals or by minors, and the operators often ride without any protective gear. In addition, many try to put more than one person on the scooter, which can make it extremely difficult to control. They have also been used like skateboards by some riders, who try to take them over curbs and do other stunts.

Another significant problem—many e-scooter riders don’t want to be on the roads (they can’t go more than 15 mph), so they ride on the sidewalks. That can constitute a hazard for the scooter operator and the pedestrian.

Contact Weber & Nierenberg

At Weber & Nierenberg, we have helped injured people in California for more than 30 years, including people who have been hurt in motorcycle and scooter accidents. To set up a free initial consultation, contact us by e-mail or call our office at 1-866-288-6010.

New Technology Means Lighter Weight Jackets

New Fabric Still Provides Effective Protection

Guy on motorcycle

If you’ve ridden a motorcycle for any length of time, and you’ve been concerned about the risk of injury, you’re familiar with the old-style motorcycle jacket. Traditionally, those coats have been heavy-duty, constructed from leather, cordura or Kevlar. While they protected you, they added a lot of weight and could be constricting.

Dainese, the world-famous Italian designer and manufacturer of protective gear for motorcyclists, has introduced a new product that combines lighter weight premium leather with removable Pro-Armor protection pads for the shoulders and elbows, as well as insert pockets for the back of the jacket, which enhance protection.

BMW has also entered the motorcycle jacket industry with a space-age jacket that includes built-in airbags. Built in conjunction with Alpinestars (known for its airbag technology), the Motorrad Street Air uses a built-in algorithm to determine when to employ the airbags. The airbags are strategically placed within the jacket so that, upon impact or in a crash, your entire upper body will be cushioned from the full blow. It also offers airbags that protect your back and kidneys. The airbags are built to fully inflate in 25 milliseconds. The jacket is not synced to your bike, so it will work with any ride—no need to add sensors or buy a specific motorcycle. In fact, it’s just as effective on an off-road vehicle, an ATV, a scooter or even a bicycle. It’s also water-resistant.

Of course, technology like this comes at a price. A new Motorrad Street Air sells for about $1,500, but many owners say it’s well worth the price.

Contact Weber & Nierenberg

At Weber & Nierenberg, we bring more than 35 years of experience successfully handling personal injury claims to people throughout the state of California. For a free initial consultation, contact us by e-mail or call our office at 1-866-288-6010.

What to Look for in a Motorcycle Helmet

What-to-Look-for-in-a-Motorcycle-Helmet2

California has one of the strictest helmet laws in the country. The statute not only requires that all motorcycle operators wear a helmet, but mandates that passengers do as well. In fact, a passenger wearing a helmet can be ticketed for riding on a bike with an unhelmeted driver.

Because it’s a piece of gear that you need to have, you want a good understanding of what’s available and what you want to see in a motorcycle helmet.

Helmet Style

The first decision you’ll have to make has to do with the style of helmet. There are five different types available:

  • Full face—On the full face helmets, there’s a face guard that’s permanently fixed in place
  • Modular—On the modular helmet, there’s a hinge that allows you to flip the face guard up, so that you can have an open-faced helmet
  • ADV dual sport—Dual sport helmets can be full face, modular or open face, but have a peak or visor built in to shield the sun
  • Open face—An open face helmet has no face guard
  • Half shell—Half shell motorcycle helmets typically just cover the top of the head, leaving ears exposed

Helmet Features

You need to evaluate three different components of the helmet:

  • Shell material—You can get carbon fiber (the most expensive) or polycarbonate (cheaper). Both will absorb and distribute energy, but carbon fiber does a better job. A good compromise can be a fiberglass composite.
  • Helmet weight—You don’t want a helmet that weighs more than 1800 grams. Make certain the center of gravity is where it’s supposed to be or you may experience neck and shoulder pain.
  • Comfort features—There’s a whole range of additional features that can enhance your riding, from wind noise reduction systems to communications and Bluetooth stereo.

Contact Weber & Nierenberg

At Weber & Nierenberg, we bring more than 30 years of experienced to injured motorcyclists in California. For a confidential consultation with an experienced California motorcycle accident injury lawyer, contact Weber & Nierenberg by e-mail or call us at 1-866-288-6010. There’s no charge for your first meeting.

At Weber & Nierenberg, we emphasize personal service and attention. We’ll take the time to learn exactly what happened, so that we take the right steps to get the outcome you want. When you hire us to protect your rights after a motorcycle accident injury, you’ll have access to one of our partners at all times.

SF City Attorney Puts Brakes on Scooter Sharing Programs

SF City Attorney Puts Brakes on Scooter Sharing ProgramsFor the earlier part of 2018, it wasn’t unusual to walk the streets of San Francisco and see motor scooter around just about every corner. It was the result of an Uber-like application, where riders could use their phone to rent a scooter, and then could leave it wherever they were when they were done. Among the companies offering the two-wheeled vehicles were Bird, Lime and Spin. Representatives of the companies say they offer a wide range of benefits to the city, reducing traffic and pollution. Many consumers expressed appreciation for the convenience the scooters offer, as well as the ease of operating them.

But San Francisco city officials had another perspective on the scooter issue. Many in city government found them to be a nuisance, saying that they often blocked sidewalks and curbs, and that there were broken scooter strewn across the city. Citing concerns for safety of riders and pedestrians, the city attorney issued a cease and desist order on Monday, April 16. The order came after city workers seized 66 scooters on Friday, April 13, contending that the motorized vehicles were impeding traffic.

City official said that, in addition to littering the landscape, the scooters posed other dangers—many riders were observed riding on sidewalks, exceeding the speed limit or riding without a helmet.

Contact the Law Office of Weber & Nierenberg

At Weber & Nierenberg, we have protected the rights of motorcyclists for more than 30 years. We built our practice on a dedication to the highest levels of personal service and attention. We’ll take the time to learn exactly what happened to you, so that we focus our representation to get the results you want. When you retain our offices after a motorcycle accident injury, you’ll work directly with one of our partners at all times.

For an appointment with an experienced California motorcycle accident injury attorney, contact Weber & Nierenberg by e-mail or call our office at 1-866-288-6010. Your first meeting is without cost or obligation.

California Scooter Clubs Thriving

California Scooter Clubs ThrivingMotorcycle clubs have been around almost as long as bikes themselves, offering a wide range of benefits to new and experienced riders. With the explosive growth in the sale and use of scooters over the last decade, riders of these smaller two-wheel vehicles have followed suit. From Napa to San Diego, from San Jose to L.A., you won’t have to go far to find fellow enthusiasts with whom you can enjoy a ride, or get answers to your questions. Here are some of the clubs you can join, along with their benefits:

  • The Napa Valley Scooter Club—Founded in 2003, this is one of California’s oldest clubs dedicated exclusively to scooter enthusiasts. The group has one big monthly ride, but members often gather in smaller groups for local rides and social events.
  • The Black Sheep Scooter Club—This San Francisco-based scooter club has multiple rides just about every weekend, including evening rides Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The club posts maps and sponsors events with bands and food.
  • The South Bay Scooter Posse, in San Jose—This extremely active and ambitious group has taken in some of the most breathtaking scenery in California. The posse had a 2012 ride to Yosemite, went to Mt. Lassen in 2015 and has also visited Humboldt Redwoods State Park. The group organizes road rallies and other events and offers members access to an online forum to discuss all things scooter.
  • The Northern California eScooter Club—This group is, for the most part, a virtual entity. There are no scheduled meetings, but members can connect and hook up to share rides. The club’s website if an encyclopedia of information on scooters, with information for people just considering getting a scooter, as well as seasoned veterans.

Contact Weber & Nierenberg

Contact our office online or call us at 1-866-288-6010 to set up a private consultation with experienced California motorcycle and motor scooter injury lawyers. We’ll bring more than three decades of experience to your case. We take a different approach with every case, learning as much as we can about your accident and what you need to fully recover for your losses. With our highly personalized approach, you’ll work with one of our partners working at all times.

Common Causes of Scooter Accidents

Scooter down in the street

With the advances in technology and construction, scooters have become a viable option for commuters and others as a reliable and cost-effective means of transportation. You can get a good scooter for less than a couple thousand dollars and you can typically get upwards of 65-75 miles per gallon. They have more get up and go than a moped, so they’re great for getting around town, and it’s easy to find a place to park them.

But if you opt for a scooter as your mode of transportation, you need to take proactive measures to minimize the risk of injury in an accident. With a scooter, as with a motorcycle, there’s little to protect you if you lose control or are involved in a collision.

The Principle Causes of Scooter Accidents

Similar to motorcycles, the primary cause of accidents involving scooters is the failure of other motorists to pay necessary attention. As a result, the majority of scooter accidents involve collisions with other motor vehicles:

  • Head on collisions where a motorist either turns into the path of a scooter or fails to yield to the right of way of a scooter operator
  • Sideswipes where a motorist changes lanes without looking or observing a scooter
  • Left-turn or right-turn accidents where a motor vehicle operator fails to observe right of way

There are also situations where you can risk serious injury without a collision with another vehicle. Because a scooter is lighter, you can be more easily affected by potholes, dead animals or other debris on the roadway, loose gravel or dirt or uneven pavement.

Contact Weber & Nierenberg

At Weber & Nierenberg, our attorneys have protected the rights of injured people in the San Francisco Bay area for more than three decades, including persons hurt in motorcycle and scooter accidents. We understand that every situation is unique, so we’ll take the time to carefully investigate your case and tailor our representation to meet your needs. With Weber & Nierenberg, you’ll have access to a partner at all times.

Contact Weber & Nierenberg by e-mail or call our office at 1-866-288-6010 to schedule a free initial consultation with an experienced California personal injury lawyer.

 
 
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