As noted before, when people hear that I'm getting a Suzuki Burgman 650 scooter, the response often is: "But motorcycles are so dangerous!"
(The Burgman is as big and powerful as a mid-sized motorcycle, so I'll refrain from saying scootering in this post and stick with "motorcycling.")
Danger needs to be a consideration in everything we do in life. The risk of motorcycling certainly has to be taken into account by both aspiring riders and those who care about them.
But here's why I believe it's truer to say, "Motorcycling is as dangerous as you make it."
Before deciding to get back into riding, I studied motorcycling accident statistics (didn't come across scooter-specific data, which probably are mixed in with motorcycles).
They can be pretty sobering and scary.
Here's the thing, though. Those figures are on average.
They include motorcyclists driving drunk or stoned, not wearing a helmet, speeding like crazy, lacking protective gear, unlicensed to drive a motorcycle, those who haven't taken a motorcycle safety course, and such.
Nobody wants to be average. Especially when it comes to staying alive and healthy.
So the most informative (and inspiring) web site I came across in my motorcycle accident statistic research was this one: an article by James R. Davis called "Beating the Odds Requires that You Act ABNORMALLY."
A substantial number of motorcycle accidents involve a rider who has been drinking. So, if on occasion you drink and drive, you are acting 'normally' as to the statistics and they are more closely predicting what will happen to you. A substantial number of accidents occur when 'luck' runs out - you drive through a yellow light and a truck happens to run over you in the intersection. But many, if not most, motorcyclists rely on luck to get them through a ride in just such a scenario. To the extent that you rely on 'luck' you are acting 'normally' relative to the statistics - you are trying to insure that they are self-fulfilling predictors.
What DOES make a difference in statistical outcomes is BEHAVIOR that is at variance with 'normal.'
Davis then explains further what he means. Common sense stuff. And reflective of the idea that almost all motorcycle accidents are avoidable, capable of being prevented by the rider. Davis says:
Relying on luck (odds) is simply stupid.
When I was 16, way back in 1965, I got a Honda 55 trail bike. I took it to college and rode it my freshman and sophomore years. So that's about four years of extensive riding in both the country, where I grew up, and the city of San Jose, California, where I went to college.
I never wore a helmet. Nor any sort of protective gear. Had on shorts, t-shirt, and tennis shoes much of the time. The bike was way under-powered, top speed not much over 45 mph, if that. No leeway to get out of trouble quickly.
I laid the bike down a few times. Worst injury I got was cutting my knee when it fell over at low speed in a school driveway. I was lucky.
Now, I'm older and wiser.
I'm re-taking the three day Team Oregon Basic Rider Training course, even though I already have my motorcycle endorsement. I've gotten a great set of protective gear: helmet, textile jacket and pants, footwear, gloves.
And I plan to wear the stuff all of the time.
Motorcycling, and scootering, is tremendous fun. Also, Green, given the lesser environmental impact of two-wheeled motorized transportation (gas mileage, parking needs, and so on).
Don't let the perceived dangerousness stop you, if this is what you want to do. Just realize that while the risks are real, they can be much reduced by riding better than average.
UPDATE: Here's a link to another good article about riding a motorcycle safely, "Discover the Top 10 Motorcycle Safety Tips for Responsible Bikers."