At one time, the fun and colorful scooters known as Vespas were mainly popular in Italy, where they originate, though now Vespas have gained popularity in the United States. However, riders of these brightly colored scooters share many of the same risks as motorcycle riders, and an accident involving a Vespa may result in serious injuries.
College students often find them attractive and a useful means of transportation around campuses, particularly in temperate climates such as in Santa Clara and San Jose. But their appeal -- and the risk of injury -- is not limited to young people. A 66-year-old man was recently riding a Vespa on the highway when he lost control. The man was attempting to make a turn, when he crashed into the side. At impact, he was thrown from the scooter. Police are still investigating the cause of the accident.
Vespa scooters have many of the same characteristics of motorcycles that make them both attractive and fun, but also potentially dangerous. Like motorcycles, Vespas are motorized, though they often do not have the same capacity for speed and power. Vespas also lack a protective metal frame and safety mechanisms such as seat belts and air bags, that protect passengers in cars. Additionally, both Vespas and motorcycles are smaller than cars, making them more difficult to see on the road, particularly in poor weather.
Vespas are also susceptible to road hazards, such as potholes, that cars and trucks have no problems navigating. Those who ride Vespas should take steps to avoid becoming accident victims, by wearing helmets, and sticking to roads with lower speed limits that are appropriate for the speeds the scooter can travel.
Source: KIONrightnow.com, "Man Riding a Vespa Dies in Accident," Chloe Beardsley, Nov. 7, 2012
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