Since companies first introduced dockless electric scooters to city streets in summer 2018, some California residents have hailed them as an environmentally friendly, inexpensive, convenient, and fun way to get around.
However, the increased use of scooters on streets, paths, and sidewalks has led to a noticeable uptick in emergency room visits. One San Francisco doctor at a major hospital reported as many as 10 severe injuries each week from electric scooter accidents, according to a story in The Washington Post.
What Are Electric Scooters?
Electric scooters have become popular in cities across the United States and abroad. They are powered by electric motors, have two wheels, and can be unlocked and ridden with the use of a smartphone app. Many can reach speeds up to 15 mph.
While the mission to provide low-cost, environmentally friendly transportation options is commendable, companies like Bird and Lime made the scooters readily available to the public without first allowing cities to draft legislation on scooter regulations. The rush to get scooters to riders without fully considering safety ultimately puts prospective riders and those around them at risk.
Causes of Electric Scooter Accidents
Because many scooter operators ride along bike lanes, roadways, and walking paths, collisions with cyclists, pedestrians, and vehicles are common. The following are some common causes of these accidents:
- Inattention – Distraction on the part of the scooter operator, pedestrian, cyclist, or driver could lead to a collision.
- Inexperience – Many scooter operators don’t have an adequate understanding of how the scooters move. If they are not prepared, riders could fall off during acceleration or deceleration.
- Defective roads – Electric scooters are more sensitive to obstacles in the road such as potholes or debris. Many riders have reportedly fallen off, skidded out, or been launched when hitting potholes.
- Scooter maintenance – Scooter companies rely partially on riders to report issues with the functionality of their scooters. This does not guarantee that serious problems will be addressed immediately. Additionally, scooters are also vulnerable to vandalism, with reports of scooters with brake lines damaged or cut intentionally.
Scooter companies market electric scooters as user-friendly and reasonably safe. While this may be the case for some people, not everyone is this lucky.
Scooter Accident Liability
When a scooter rider is involved in an accident, multiple parties could be at fault. Some parties that may be responsible for a scooter accident include:
- The scooter operator
- A vehicle driver and their insurance provider
- The municipality, if a neglected road or defect in the sidewalk posed an unreasonable risk
- The company that owns and operates the scooters
How Can Demas Law Group Help Me?
If you’ve been seriously hurt, turn to a team that can help. We have over 25 years of experience fighting for the rights of injury victims. If you have been injured in an electric scooter accident, call us today or reach out to us online to discuss your case with a member of our team in a free consultation.