A pedestrian was recently injured in a collision with a mobility scooter, highlighting the potential dangers of these vehicles that are often thought of as completely safe.
The driver of the mobility scooter allegedly lost control after driving over a pedestrian crossing and onto the pavement near Southend Bus Station. The scooter collided with a woman in her 60s, causing her to suffer serious leg injuries that required surgery.
Essex Police have appealed for more information to help trace the mobility scooter driver.
Mobility scooters don’t normally spring to mind when you think about potentially dangerous vehicles. They have a top speed of 10mph, are intended to be used only by disabled people and can be driven without a licence. They’re not covered by the Road Traffic Act as they are classified as ‘medical devices’ and are designed to be used on pavements.
Though, when mobility scooters are the cause of pedestrian injuries, such as those sustained by the lady in Southend, it makes you wonder what road safety rules mobility scooter drivers should follow.
164 people were injured in collisions involving mobility scooters in 2013, according to Department of Transport statistics released in Parliament. Of the 164 casualties, 5 were killed and 26 were seriously injured.
Earlier this year, MPs called for compulsory training for mobility scooter drivers, with Plymouth Moor View MP Alison Seabeck claiming that “the lack of knowledge amongst some users regarding safety and visibility, and in some cases poor roadworthiness, are all potential causes of accidents leading to injury and death.”
Although police have limited powers of prosecution when it comes to mobility scooter drivers, people who have been injured in a collision with a mobility scooter can still pursue a personal injury claim through the civil courts.
Some local police forces are already working hard to educate mobility scooter users and have set up “driver awareness” courses for existing scooter users, or people thinking about buying one, to alert them to the inherent risks associated with the machines.
It is alarming indeed that no tests, courses or licences are required to be completed or obtained before you can drive away on a mobility scooter. Is it not ironic that something described as a “medical device” can cause significant injury and be a threat to safety if operated with insufficient knowledge or care?
Jane Cooper is a Principal Personal Injury Lawyer at Slater and Gordon Lawyers UK, specialising in road collision cases.
Slater and Gordon Personal Injury Lawyers are experts in helping people claim compensation for injuries sustained in accidents involving all types of vehicles. 98% of all claims are handled on a No Win, No Fee basis, meaning there is no financial risk to you.
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