Posted in Scooter Accidents on September 13, 2023
Motor scooters are a relatively new addition to the roadways of Denver, Colorado. They first appeared in large quantities around 2018 and grew significantly in popularity during the first few years of the COVID pandemic. Today, they have become a part of everyday life in Denver.
Still, just because it seems like everyone is using a motor scooter these days, that doesn’t mean it is automatically a good idea to hop on one yourself. You need to understand how safe motor scooters are, not only for the people who ride them but also for the pedestrians and other vehicles that use the same roads.
A motor scooter accident is similar to a pedestrian accident in terms of the harm suffered by the rider, who will likely suffer serious injuries such as:
Most often, the rider will be lucky to suffer just one of these injuries. Many accidents, especially when a negligent driver is involved, can result in severe harm and even the wrongful death of the rider.
The Colorado DMV requires that all motor scooter riders be licensed. These types of scooters don’t require a special license, though, which means they can be ridden with a basic passenger vehicle license.
Additionally, since the initial surge of motor scooters’ popularity, Denver has updated its Code of Ordinances to include laws regarding their use. These laws protect both riders and those they share the road with in several ways:
Only one person may ride a motor scooter at a time in Denver, regardless of the age of the other driver. Even parents cannot ride with a young child strapped to their back or chest.
While you may carry packages or other types of cargo on a scooter, those items must not prevent you from safely steering the vehicle. If your cargo prevents you from keeping at least one hand on the handlebars at all times, you can’t transport it on a scooter.
Scooters are permitted to use bike lanes, and riders must follow the same rules as bikers while there.
Scooter riders are also permitted to ride on the road, but they must obey all traffic rules while doing so. Additionally, they must ride as close to the side of the road or curb as they safely can. Unlike cars, though, two scooters may ride side-by-side while traveling on a road.
Keep in mind, however, that there are some streets where motor scooters are outright prohibited in Denver, such as those surrounding the 16th Street Mall. Furthermore, scooters are not allowed on high-speed roadways like highways.
Denver rules do not currently require motor scooter riders to wear helmets, though Colorado laws require anyone under 18 to do so. Even though they aren’t necessarily required in the city, you should still wear one if possible, as helmets greatly decrease your odds of suffering a serious injury in an accident.
You are discouraged from riding on sidewalks, but not entirely prohibited. If you must ride on a sidewalk, you cannot travel at a speed higher than five miles per hour, and you must give the right of way to all pedestrians.
Denver scooter laws have made the city safer for both motor scooter riders and the pedestrians and other motorists around them. Follow them to safely use a motor scooter around the city.