Whether you live here in Honolulu or are vacationing here, one of the best ways to get around these beautiful islands is on a moped. The problem is that riding a moped also puts you in danger of being involved in an accident and suffering serious injuries, or worse. Even though you can't predict how others on the road will react, you can take steps to protect yourself.
Hawaii does not require you to wear a helmet, but you may want to seriously consider doing so. Unlike driving or riding in a passenger vehicle, you have no protection from an impact with a vehicle, the road or some other obstacle. Your body takes the brunt of impact, which means injuries are often more severe.
The numbers don't lie
If you still need more convincing that riding a moped involves significant danger, consider the following statistics from the Honolulu Police Department regarding moped accidents:
- In 2013, five people died.
- In 2014, four people died.
- In 2015, one person died.
- In 2015, 16 people suffered serious injuries.
- In 2015, three people suffered critical injuries.
- In 2015, two people were in stable condition while hospitalized.
This may not seem like a lot of people, but any loss of life is too much. Those people's families will never see their loved ones again. Serious and critical injuries can leave a victim with permanent or debilitating injuries that affect everything they do from that point forward. Their personal and professional lives may never fully recover, even if they do.
Why mopeds are more dangerous than motorcycles
Motorcycle riders must take a certification course and receive a motorcycle license or endorsement of a regular driver's license. In addition, most mopeds travel at approximately 35 mph, but with aftermarket modifications, they can travel up to 50 mph. These two issues make mopeds more dangerous than motorcycles.
What to do if involved in a moped accident
If you suffered serious injuries -- or lost a loved one -- in a moped accident caused by another driver, you may be able to pursue compensation for your financial losses and other damages by filing a personal injury or wrongful death claim, as applicable. It's often difficult to know where to begin, so it may help to seek out a full review of your case first.