Students and Scooters: A Risky Combination
In many instances, college students find themselves having to be in several places in a short amount of time. Rather than waiting for a bus or walking across a large campus, students are buying motorized scooters to get around. What once took a half hour or more to get to, now takes only several minutes with a scooter.
Scooters allow students to drive from home, to campus, to work, all while giving great gas mileage. Ranging in price from as low as $600 to up into the thousands, scooters are relatively inexpensive. This makes it all the more affordable for struggling college students on a limited income to have transportation.
Electronic scooters are growing in popularity because they only need recharging, which saves students from having to fill up at a gas station several times a week. However, there is a trade-off in this instance. While students are cutting their weekly expenses for gas, their electricity bills increase due to having to recharge their scooters. The trade-off is worth it for some since it beats having to walk from one part of campus to another. Other than a higher than normal monthly electric bill, there is another downside to having a scooter, and that mainly deals with safety.
Scooters vs. Motorists
While scooters are smaller in size than motorcycles, there are just as many risks operating them on the road as there are with motorcycles. Scooter operators must follow traffic laws, but most states do not require scooter owners to have a special endorsement on their driver’s license, or wear helmets and protective gear. The danger for both motorcycle and scooter operators come in sharing the road with motorists.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, motorcyclists, which includes scooter operators, are about 30 times more likely to die in a traffic crash than occupants of a passenger car. In recent years, the state of Florida has seen its fair share of scooter accidents, prompting Tampa motorcycle accident attorney firms to take special notice, especially when it comes to defending victims. Most crashes occur because:
- Scooter operators did not know how to properly handle the scooter, particularly around sharp curves.
- Motorists did not see the scooter in their blind spot prior to the crash.
- Motorists did not yield the right-of-way to scooters.
- Motorists and scooters were speeding.
- Scooter operators were intoxicated.
Sharing the Road Safely
Motorists and scooter operators can avoid accidents if they follow a few basic safety tips:
- Take caution in passing, rather than speeding up and cutting off the scooter operator or the motorist.
- Avoid distracted driving, which includes eating, using a mobile phone, texting, and smoking.
- Drive at or below the speed limit, taking into account weather conditions.
- Maintain a safe following distance for safe braking
- Use turn signals when changing lanes.
- Use headlights, especially during dusk.
- Do not weave in-and-out of traffic.
A traffic crash is unfortunate for anyone, but college students stand to lose a chance to complete their education in a timely manner. College students involved in an accident that results in an injury should consider consulting a personal injury attorney to discuss the legal options provided to them under law.
Scooters save college students time and money, both of which students have little of as they continue their higher education studies. If maintained properly and operated safely, scooters can make college life much easier to manage.
Jamica Bell is a freelance writer with college students interested in obtaining scooters for easier transportation around campus. She contributes this article to bring awareness to scooter safety. Tampa motorcycle accident attorney and managing partner, K.C. Williams III, Esquire, has worked tirelessly to protect the legal rights of motorcycle and scooter accident victims.
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