An allegedly inattentive driver seriously injured an 87 year-old man in a motorized scooter when the driver turned into the victim at a Fort Walton Beach intersection. Fire rescue officials say the scooter driver suffered head injuries and may have broken his leg. The victim was airlifted to a Pensacola hospital for treatment of what officials called “serious injuries.”
The Florida Highway Patrol says the driver was in the right-turn lane approaching an intersection. The green turn arrow was lit at the time. The 87 year-old scooter driver was attempting to cross the highway, but was not in the crosswalk, and apparently the other driver did not notice. As the driver started to turn right, he crashed into the scooter and pitched the elderly man into the street. The driver was not charged immediately but the FHP continues to investigate.
Automobile drivers often forget that pedestrians have the right of way in most cases. The pedestrians have an obligation to be careful, but drivers must be more so. Drivers must constantly scan the road, watching for pedestrians, bicyclists and indications that a child might be about to run into the street. Occasionally pedestrians walk into vehicles but the amount of damage done is minor compared to what happens when several tons of metal impact the human body, even at low speed.
The proliferation of cell phones and increasingly complicated in-car entertainment systems create even more distractions for drivers. Fiddling with gadgets can cause the driver to take eyes off the road. In the blink of an eye a pedestrian who “just popped out of nowhere” has been struck, and it later turns out that the accident would not have happened if the driver was paying fulltime attention to the road. People injured by careless motorists have the right to collect for their medical treatments, pain and suffering and economic losses. Be sure to contact an attorney as soon as possible to ensure evidence is preserved and necessary information can be collected quickly.
Source: NWFDailynews.com, “Man hit while crossing street on electric scooter,” Lauren Sage Reinle, Aug. 25, 2012