As a growing number of companies and cities — including Sacramento — work to make more sustainable transportation options available, the number of e-bikes and e-scooters on the road is rising.
Roughly 38.5 million trips were taken on shared e-scooters in 2018 in the U.S., according to the National Association of City Transportation Officials. They weren’t even tracked in the previous year due to low numbers. In cities where e-bikes were offered, they were used twice as frequently as pedal bikes.
In Sacramento, it’s estimated that in the second half of 2019, alone, users took 450,000 e-scooter trips and 550,000 e-bike trips. And e-scooter trips are expected to surpass e-bike trips in 2020, when there will be at least 3,000 e-scooters, and 1,000 e-bikes on the road.
Injuries Caused by Scooter and E-Bike Accidents
As e-scooters and e-bikes proliferate in U.S. cities, such as Sacramento, the number of related injuries grows too.
Over the last five years, the rate of injuries from e-scooters increased three-fold in the U.S., according to a study published in JAMA Surgery, jumping from 6 to 19 cases for every 100,000 people. And about one-third of those injuries were to the head or legs, pointing to a real concern about the possibility of head trauma resulting from e-scooter accidents.
According to a similar study, e-scooter victims were most likely to suffer head injuries and fractures. E-bike riders were more likely to suffer internal injuries and be hospitalized.
E-bike riders were also more likely to be involved in a collision with a pedestrian. This is a serious risk with e-scooters, as well.
Common Causes of Scooter and E-Bike Accidents
Sustainable transportation options are important. But the fact is, as e-scooters and e-bikes become increasingly popular, infrastructures and measures to keep riders safe are not keeping up in tandem.
A case in point is Cal
ifornia’s recent bill exempting adults from wearing helmets while riding e-scooters, even though head injuries are prominent among e-scooter injuries.
Some of the most common causes of scooter and e-bike accidents include:
- Speed – E-bikes travel up to 20 miles per hour, which can increase the risk of injury in an accident.
- Lack of protection – The lack of a helmet requirement for adult e-scooter riders in California puts riders at a heightened risk, given the high rate of head injuries among e-scooter users.
- Defective vehicle – Given the high use of e-scooters and e-bikes in rideshare companies, wear and tear can be an issue if the vehicles are not properly maintained. The vehicles may also have factory issues that pose a hazard. Motivate, a bikeshare company owned by Lyft, pulled e-bikes from several cities after riders reported safety issues with their brakes.
- Stability – E-scooters are less stable than bicycles and can be risky for inexperienced riders.
- Inclement weather – Due to their lack of stability, e-scooters can be particularly dangerous in inclement weather, when roads may be more slippery.
- Sidewalks – Riders aren’t the only ones put at risk by e-scooters and e-bikes. Pedestrians have been seriously injured when users ride illegally on sidewalks.
Were You Injured on an E-Scooter or E-Bike? Call Demas Law Group, P.C. for Help
If you were involved in an accident related to either one of these vehicles, contact Demas Law Group, P.C. in Sacramento. Whether you were a pedestrian or a rider, our attorneys have the experience needed to determine if another party may be liable for your injuries.
We will give you an honest assessment of your case, and we won’t charge for our services unless we recover compensation for you.
Contact us online or call us for a free consultation today.