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  • Axel Jorge and Josa Jane Gecain

Moped/Cycle Double Trouble

Updated: Mar 10, 2023

Accidents relating to mopeds and motorcycles on the rise. Numbers of crashes keep increasing due to irresponsible operators and fellow drivers.

Mopeds and motorcycles, the speed demons of the streets. With a sleek exterior and two wheels, it’s no surprise that they were made to zoom through tight spaces as well as get to a desired destination without the bulky armor of a car holding them back. Such speed as well as less armor and a practically exposed engine would be a double edged sword as the sleek design would put a driver in jeopardy when it comes to a collision.

Between the two, “a moped is more likely to get into a crash than a motorcycle” stated Michael Leonardo Pila, a Driver's Education teacher at Farrington High School. Pila continued with, “because of the operator, operators tend to be teenagers with mopeds as opposed to motorcycles who are driven by adults. Adults know a little bit about the vehicle in itself and they tend to operate it safer.” Pila added that adults a require to attend a specific motorcycle class in order to operate an motorcycle legally.

"City environments would most likely have the most crashes as the operator has to look out for more obstacles such as more cars, more people, and even the condition of the road itself." Michael Plia, Farrington High School Drivers Education Teacher

“The number one cause of moped accidents is the operator's speed and being unfocused.” stated Pila. Though not as fast as a motorcycle, a moped can still clock up to speeds of 28-30 mph which is of course still very fast, but combined with bad focus and it’s a recipe for devastation. Moped crashes also tend to be based on location (most of the time) “city environments would most likely have the most crashes as the operator has to look out for more obstacles such as more cars, more people, and even the condition of the road itself” stated Pila. Pila continued “with so much to pay attention to, an operator of such a high speeding vehicle would end up with them not paying attention to everything which could lead into crashes.”

Pila added, “the term moped is being used wrong because actually a moped is an electric vehicle that has pedals as well as a motor. That’s why it’s called a moped, the ones that people refer to are called scooters, there's a misconception there with vehicle identification”

Mopeds roughly weigh 150-200 pounds, all of that force and weight applied on the human body going 30 miles per hour may result in either being launched into the air and onto the skidding hot concrete or into another vehicle. “An operator’s mindset before a crash is that it won’t happen. Feeling so free, nothing can touch them until something does.” stated Pila, “after it happens it's more disbelief than pain that hits the driver first, depending on the severity of the injury. A moped driver will feel in shock as they plummet to the ground and not only does it take a toll on the moped driver physically and mentally, it also takes a toll on the driver of the vehicle the moped hit depending on how serious the injury is or the applied shock of hitting someone.”

When a moped accident happens or any crash for that matter, the question that comes to mind is who was at fault, a conflicting question that should be easy to answer but based on the circumstances and “depending on the situation, if a moped driver has the right of way, following all the rules of the road including traffic light safety. If another vehicle cuts the red light, then it would be the fault of the driver that ran the red light.” stated Pila. Pila noted that “if the operator was operating the moped in an unsafe manner, then it would be their fault.”

In an article from KHON2, Hawaii is ranked as one of the worst cities for motorcyclists to be, coming in at 15 on the list. Motorcycle accidents often occur during the early evening, rise of noon, and the peak of 5 p.m. A multitude of factors cause motorcycle accidents, such as carelessness and drunk driving.

Andy Dung, owner of Andy’s Motorcycle shop, describes motorcycle accidents and the factors which can prevent them. “Rider training, the ability for riders to choose the right motorcycle, and regular maintenance. Tires being a big factor that people really overlook a lot of times. Of course, wearing safety equipment and just being alert.” Dung also described how motorcycling accidents are caused. “A lot of times it’s inattentive to the driver.” Furthermore, Dung added that most motorcycle accidents don’t occur when the motorcycle is alone, but rather with other vehicles involved.

Alongside Dung, Travis Odo, an employee of Andy’s Motorcycle Shop who has been riding motorcycles for 20 years said, “other vehicles, drivers not being aware, distracted, unaware, they’re not looking for motorcycles. They’re just looking out for cars.” He also mentions how these accidents can prevented. “How well their motorcycles are maintained, safety items; mainly tires. If they’re not maintained well, then that can cause them to crash.”

While Hawaii may be ranked in 15, Odo and Dung describe the steps which can be taken on how to decrease motorcycling accidents in Hawaii. Dung states, “More training, more required training. Once a person has a license, it doesn’t have any renewal skills, if any throughout the year.” Dung talks about how renewals of licenses and tests throughout time would help in preventing motorcycling accidents. Odo simply states that people should be more aware and look out for motorcycles.

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