Travelling along our highways and our beachfront roadways means encountering a wide range of vehicles. Our climate and our tourism industry contribute to the plethora of transit options. People must be prepared for the vehicles they choose, an obligation that includes knowing how the vehicle operates and how to keep themselves and those around them safe.
Today's blog entry focuses on scooters, an option chosen for the open-air thrills and affordable rental fees/purchase prices. While rider safety is critical, drivers also have an obligation to remember the reality of our roads and remain vigilant and alert for all travelers. When negligent drivers cause scooter accidents that injure or kill the rider, our Panama City scooter accident attorney is ready to step in and advocate for the victims and their families.
Recently, Panama City Beach made changes to their scooter rental rules and Bay County is now considering similar proposals. As My Panhandle notes, this is no surprise. Both communities benefit economically from the Spring Break scooter rental boom but both also face the downsides, namely scooter accidents and injuries. In a shift from earlier proposals, the current version will not require tall flags on the back of scooters.
However, riders will be required to wear brightly colored vests on any county maintained road. Bay County Commissioner Mike Thomas explains the vest rule is aimed at making scooters more visible to other vehicles and reducing accident rates. While the proposals generally mirror recently approved changes in Panama City Beach, the County is requiring a higher amount of insurance coverage than is required in PCB.
We believe it is important for scooter riders to remember the ride can be fun but it can also be dangerous. Riders should take steps to prevent crashes and keep themselves and others safe. The Motorcycle Safety Foundation ("MSF"), a not-for-profit group that scooter.jpgeducates and trains riders, offers a scooter safety class and makes their Scooter Basic Ridercourse Student Handbook available online. Explaining the rationale for scooter safety training, the handbook notes that scooters lack the stability of other vehicles. Riders are particularly vulnerable as they lack the protection afforded by a car and are not as readily seen as other vehicles, even motorcycles.
The MSF promotes risk management and having a riding strategy. Before riding, riders should don personal protective gear including a helmet, eye protection, and protective clothing. It also means inspecting the scooter and making sure you understand its operation.
While riding, remaining visible is key. Riders should also be prepared in advance to respond to traffic and hazards. MSF uses the acronym "SEE" to summarize safe scooter travels -- Search, Evaluate, and Execute. The handbook also provides more detailed advice on handling a range of roadway conditions (ex. managing intersections and curves).
As the MSF Handbook notes: "Not all risks to a rider are due to the rider's own behavior. While it is possible to reduce much of your own risk, safety in traffic is a responsibility shared by everyone." Scooter riders who have been hurt and families of riders who have died in accidents caused by another traveler deserve compensation.
Our Bay County scooter accident law firm is here to help them obtain money damages via a civil lawsuit. Two important notes: 1) Most cases settle before trial, but it is a mistake to agree to a settlement without consulting your own legal counsel and 2) The law is realistic; you may be entitled to damages even if your own actions were far from perfect.
People choose The Pittman Firm because of our reputation for getting results, our commitment to our clients, and our vow to always be deserving of your trust. Call for a personal consultation.
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