Sales of motor scooter to U.S. drivers skyrocketed in the first part of 2011 as gas prices climbed, the Los Angeles Times reports. Popular among students and young people, scooters are a low-cost option for people on a budget and can be handy, some say, in cities with lots of traffic. .
As for filling up the tank? "I've had lots of people come up to me on the street when I park and ask what kind of mileage does she get," Matthew Norton told the newspaper. "When I see them coming out of their giant SUVs, I have to hold in a laugh."
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While it's great to see a more eco-friendly vehicle on the road, the rise of scooters sharing the roadway with larger cars could be dangerous. We all grow up learning to drive a car, but how many of us have scooter or motorcycle experience? With inexperienced drivers always comes more accidents.
If you're considering getting a scooter to save some gas money, do your research. The Consumer Product Safety Commission doesn't recommend scooters be driven at night or in traffic. According to the agency's data, riding on gravel and uneven pavement is enough to cause an accident. Here in Virginia, you can't ride a scooter on a highway where the speed limit is faster than 35 mph.
Though they might seem like a good idea, scooters can be dangerous if not driven properly.