Ounce of Prevention

Are Scooters Safer than Motorcycles?

Do scooter riders know something about riding safety that they are keeping secret from the rest of us?As the Fall weather descends upon us and the cool winds of winter begin to blow we are seeing fewer of our two-wheeled friends of all kinds on the road these days. However, after a glorious summer of sunshine (if you were in Toronto and area) we can look back on what we encountered on the streets each day.

Whether it is rising gas prices, environmental concerns, economic choices or just the desire to ride, many more drivers have taken to motorcycles, scooters and e-bikes (we’ll talk about e-bikes another time), a fact confirmed by soaring sales records. Motorcycles of course have been around these parts forever it seems. Scooters on the other hand are a fairly new mode of transportation in Toronto.

What seemed to be most striking about scooter riders this summer was their apparent disregard for safety gear. There were a good number of riders that wore nothing more than the sunshine and warm air required. So we have to ask…are scooters safer than motorcycles? Perhaps there are valid reasons why scooters might be safer so let’s examine.

It is true that scooters are smaller, lighter, slower and, let’s be honest, much cuter than motorcycles. But in the event of a collision or other mishap that causes the rider to fall to the ground do any of these factors come into play? Not really – cuteness can only get you so far. Science tells us that the body will continue to travel at the pre-crash speed until friction – the body rubbing against the pavement – brings it to a stop. The only thing between your body and the pavement is whatever you decide to wear on your ride.

Here is a PSA video from Australia that helps explain the importance of protective gear:

Safety Tips for Scooters:

  • Take scooter riding lessons from a recommended provider
  • Obey all traffic laws at all times
  • Be aware of the vehicles around you
  • In addition to your legislated approved helmet, always wear approved protective gear including but not limited to boots, pants, jacket, gloves

Any time you trade four wheels for two you are exposing yourself to a much higher risk of injury and death. With protective safety gear, education and commonsense you can reduce your risk of injury and death.

Ride safe and ride smart.

Not convinced yet? The following video is a graphic example of what happens to the human body when it challenges friction. If you have the intestinal fortitude to ride a scooter (or motorcycle) without proper safety gear, then this video should be no problem for you. (GRAPHIC CONTENT WARNING).

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Injury Prevention Team