Imagine that you woke up today and the headlines in the papers was “Motor Insurance is no longer compulsory for motorist.” What will be your response as a pedestrian or motorist? As a driver, will you continue to buy your motor insurance although it is not mandatory now as you rather pay a premium than to pay a potential financial loss due to accident? As a pedestrian, will you be worried that driver who had knocked onto you will not have the financial resources to pay your medical bills?
With that in mind, I did a search on e-scooter accidents and it shows there were 228 accidents involving PMDs reported in 2017 & 2018.
The damages in an accident involving personal mobility device(PMD) can be very serious to the rider, pedestrian and the PMD. I had shared a documentary by Talking Points that showed the dangers of PMDs as well as the safe way to ride one.
A PMD accident can happen when a PMD collided with a pedestrian and worse, if it was a case of hit-and-run. These accidents are getting more common with more shared pathways and park connectors. The situation is made worse with irresponsible PMD users speeding on the pathways or pedestrians crossing over the wrong paths. And with some PMD users getting on the road, accidents between PMD and vehicles are not uncommon. The fatality rate is usually higher and the injuries more serious than collision between a PMD user and pedestrian. There are also freak accidents of PMD users colliding with another user or the rider falling off his own PMD.
Regardless being a PMD user or a pedestrian, both will suffer physical and financial pain should an accident happened. The pedestrian obviously will be injured with bruised or cuts. If the injuries are serious, he may be hospitalised. The injuries may also not be severe enough to be hospitalised and a dressing or casting may be able to treat the patient. In such case, it will be a financial pain on top of the physical pain he is already suffering. Most people will demand compensation from the PMD user but we have seen that it can take sometime to identify the rider i.e. if we ever did. We also cannot assume the rider can afford to pay as the riders are just students or teenagers in some of the cases. The real challenge is the ability and the willingness to pay. What if the rider is an irresponsible person who just refuse to pay a cent?
From the point of PMD user, you can get injured as well. On top of that, the casualty can go after your for the medical bills and other damages. Do you have that ability to handle such a situation of issuing a “blank cheque”?
If some of these thoughts ever go thru’ your mind either as a pedestrian or PMD user, what have you done to have a peace of mind?
If you have not do anything excepting thinking and worrying, here is a little solution. You may want to look into a personal accident plan that covers mainly two things.
1) Medical Expenses
2) Personal liabilities
Medical expenses will take care of the medical bills incurred from an accident. It usually covers Traditional Chinese Medicine, Chiropractor fee and Physiotherapy. This section is meant for the PMD user’s own medical expenses. You will find that the amount for this section is not significant as it is mainly to cover injuries that are less serious for e.g. sprains, fracture etc. If the injury is more severe and requires hospitalisation, the medical expenses should be taken care by the individual’s CPF Medishield Life or Private Integrated Shield plans. Alternatively, one can consider increasing the medical expenses section with other personal accident plans.
If you are a rider or cyclist, personal liabilities will come in useful i if you accidentally injure someone or damage someone’s property while riding a bicycle or PMD . In general, personal liabilities will cover the following:
- the legal costs and expenses for representing or defending you in Singapore; and
- the amount awarded against you by the court in Singapore
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