Moped and light-moped riders are at relatively high risk of being a crash casualty. Although there is a trend towards fewer deaths, in the Netherlands, the risk of being killed or seriously injured remains very large compared with other modes of transport. In the Netherlands, helmet use is mandatory for moped riders, but not for light-moped riders. In recent years we have seen a strong increase in the number of light mopeds (especially the scooter model is widely sold), whereas the number of mopeds has been decreasing slightly. Because the registration of crashes and the mobility data do not distinguish between mopeds and light mopeds, the individual risks of mopeds and light mopeds cannot be distinguished.
Analyses of light-moped crashes indicate that behavioural factors the most common crash factors. Examples are: distraction or lack of attention, speed too high for the conditions, and too narrow focus or "I have priority" attitude. On the side of the crash opponent lack of attention/distraction and failure to give priority are mentioned as factors. The fact that (light) mopeds are equilibrium vehicles that do not protect the rider in a crash also contributes to the high crash risk of moped and light-moped riders.
Various measures have been taken in the Netherlands to increase the safety of moped and light-moped riders (moped on the roadway, tuning up resistance, license plates, moped driving licence, riding test for moped riders). The effectiveness of two measures has been examined. Moving the moped from the cycle path to the roadway had a positive effect on the number of moped crashes. No positive effect on the crash risk of moped and light-moped riders could be determined for the introduction of the moped riding test. However, moped possession among youths, and with it the number of crashes, greatly diminished following the introduction of the measure.
Microcars and speed pedelecs are legally part of the vehicle category 'mopeds’ but they are not discussed in this fact sheet. For information on these vehicle categories see SWOV Fact sheets Mobility scooters, enclosed disability vehicles and microcars and Pedelecs and speed pedelecs.
A scooter is a widely used term for a moped or light moped in the Netherlands. However, a scooter is no vehicle category but a vehicle model (legs next to each other instead of on either side of the vehicle). A scooter can be a moped, a light moped, or even a motorcycle. However, the term scooter often refers to a moped in the Netherlands.