Child Killed in Tampa Accident Caused by Intoxicated Electric Scooter Driver

A recent electric scooter accident in Tampa in which a child was killed reflects the danger of these vehicles, particularly when the scooter’s operator is not following the law or, even worse yet, is impaired while operating the scooter. According to an update on this accident from accident investigators, a 37-year-old man and a 10-year-old boy were riding on the scooter when the scooter driver made a wide right turn into a gas station. The driver and child both fell off the scooter and onto the road in a lane facing oncoming traffic, where they were run over by a car that was unable to stop in time to avoid hitting them. The scooter driver and child were both transported to the hospital, where the child died from his injuries and the driver was in serious condition. To make matters worse, investigators believe the scooter driver was intoxicated at the time of the accident. He has been determined to at fault for its occurrence and has been charged with both DUI manslaughter and driving with a suspended license while being involved in an incident involving death. Electric scooters were legalized in Florida several years ago, but they can pose serious dangers, particularly if driven carelessly or while intoxicated like appears to be the case in this Tampa accident.

Florida Law Relating to Electric Scooters

Electric scooters became legal in Florida in 2019. To ride an e-scooter in Florida, a rider must be at least 16 years old, but is not required to have a driver’s license. According to that law, e-scooter riders also have the same rights and responsibilities that bicyclists have on Florida roads, including the opportunity to use electric scooters in bike lanes. Only one rider per e-scooter is permitted and no insurance is required to ride electric scooters in Florida.

The Dangers of an Electric Scooter

Electric scooters, even if a driver is not intoxicated or riding with a passenger like in the recent Tampa incident, are dangerous. Motorists rarely know the proper way to interact with an e-scooter and these vehicles can be extremely dangerous as compared with a car, trucks or more conventional motor vehicles. Many of the scooters can go as fast as 30 mph, but their riders are not required to wear helmets and can be uniquely vulnerable in the event of a collision given they are, for all intents and purposes, completely unprotected. Therefore, absolute caution should always be exercised when riding on or near an electric scooter, lest you become involved in a serious accident.

Contact the Experienced Personal Injury Attorneys at Schwed, Adams & McGinley, P.A.

Electric scooters and their riders have exploded in popularity since they were first legalized in Florida in 2019, but they continue to be involved in more and more accidents as their use has increased. At Schwed, Adams & McGinley, P.A. our experienced personal injury attorneys have more than 200 years of combined legal practice representing victims of motor vehicle and other accidents in Florida, including both those injured in an accident who were riding an electric scooter as well as those injured in accidents in which an electric scooter was involved. Given the increasing prevalence of electric scooters on the roads of Florida, accidents involving e-scooters are only going to become more common in the future. Therefore, if you, a family member, or a loved one have been injured in an incident involving an electric scooter, contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at Schwed, Adams & McGinley, P.A today at 877-694-6079 or contact@schwedlawfirm.com for a free consultation.