Drivers of motorized scooters experience the same dangers encountered by motorcycle and bicycle riders in that they are smaller than other vehicles and they lack the same protections and safety features. For this reason, riders are more susceptible to serious injuries when involved in an accident.
A Louisiana man was recently sentenced to a year of probation pursuant an accident involving his vehicle and a motorized scooter. The man was attempting to cross a highway in his pickup when the scooter struck his vehicle. According to a witness, he had stopped his vehicle at a stop sign before pulling out onto the highway, where the accident occurred. The operator of the scooter was killed in the accident even though he was wearing a helmet. According to authorities, alcohol and drugs were not involved, and the driver of the pickup was not using his cell phone at the time of the accident. He was charged with failure to yield, resulting in the aforementioned sentence.
The law of negligence governs the application of liability on any party involved in a motor vehicle accident, including those involving a motorized scooter. Under this rule, an injured victim, or his or her surviving family members in the event of wrongful death, must show that the defendant owed them a duty to apply reasonable care in their actions. This duty is typically assumed when a defendant is operating a motor vehicle. The injured party must also prove that the defendant violated this duty of reasonable care, that the breach caused the accident and that they were injured as a result. Actions that may evidence negligence on the part of a driver include not obeying traffic signs, failing to properly regard traffic conditions, and failing to see that an action can be done safely, among many others.
Drivers of motor vehicles must be aware of their surrounding and the conditions present on the road. They must also ensure that any action they are performing with their vehicle can be done without jeopardizing the safety of others. A failure to do so can result in serious injuries to others on the road and significant liability for the driver.
Source: The Times-Picayune, "Jefferson man gets a year of probation in fatal scooter collision," Paul Purpura, May 7, 2014