What Is the Real Controversy Behind the Electric Scooter?
Electric scooters, or e-scooters, were first introduced to individuals in 2017 and while they have made getting around easier for some, they have also caused many to suffer serious and fatal injuries. After Consumer Reports conducted a survey, it was determined that since the fall of 2017, at least 1,500 riders suffered injuries and at least eight people have died in scooter-related incidents. The source highlighted that a five-year-old boy was killed while riding a scooter with his mother when he fell off the vehicle and was hit by another. A 53-year-old man also died after he lost control of his scooter and crashed into a tree.
He was not wearing a helmet at the time of the accident.What is the Real Issue With E-Scooters and Why are They on the Verge of Being Banned?
Lawmakers have been and continue to debate on whether the electric scooters should be banned in cities all across the U.S. given the number of accidents that have already transpired. Aside from the fact that these scooters are considered dangerous, the survey Consumer Reports conducted found that more than 3,000 adults “suggested that riders remained confused about what traffic laws they should follow.” Clearly, this has proven to be a serious issue for drivers, riders, and even pedestrians.
The fact is, when a rider is unaware of what laws apply to them, they are likely to engage in behavior that is actually prohibited. For example, riders have expressed that they weren’t sure whether they were allowed to ride on sidewalks, in streets, or even with a passenger. Some individuals were even unaware as to whether they needed to wear a helmet leading to many riding without one. Some other issues that have been presented include:
- Roads and sidewalks are not designed for the new mode of transportation. According to Kevin Fang, M.D., who is an assistant professor of geography, environment, and planning at Sonoma State University in CA, while e-scooters are expected to be ridden on streets, “the roads are not prepared to accommodate them.”
- E-scooters are being driven on sidewalks which pose as a danger to the riders and pedestrians they cross paths with. The survey found that among those who were questioned who had the opportunity to ride one of these scooters, 51% rode on the sidewalk, 26% in the bike lane, and 18% in the street but not in the bike lane.
- E-scooter riders often rent a vehicle that is defective or malfunctions while they are riding it. There have been reports of e-scooters not working properly, for instance, one rider complained that their brakes failed them when they were needed which resulted in the rider having to jump off the scooter in order to get off. Other riders said their scooter “experienced a sudden burst of speed that exceeds limits set by cities” [Source: Consumer Reports].
- Road infrastructure has proven to be dangerous for electric scooter riders. A rider of a Bird scooter was involved in a crash at an intersection with a driver causing him to suffer serious injuries. The source said that the “intersection where the crash occurred was in a “dangerously defective condition, including design, construction, maintenance, and inadequate signage.”
- Regulations are limited when it comes to electric scooters. Since Bird and Lime first launched their scooters, regulations have been limited over these modes of transportation.
Whether you were the rider, a driver, or pedestrian, The Law Offices of Bruce S. Meth is available to help you become more aware of what your legal rights are in the matter. Many victims involved in scooter-related accidents often run into trouble with their insurer as they attempt to recover compensation for their damages as many companies limit the coverage they will provide. This, unfortunately, leaves many victims being held liable for having to pay for things like vehicle repairs, medical bills, etc. out of their own pockets.Were the Injuries You Suffered Severe or Life-Threatening?
We highly recommend anyone who has suffered severe injuries in a scooter incident to contact our office to speak with a personal injury attorney in San Diego who can help determine whether you have a viable case against another person or even one of the companies responsible for the operation of the electric scooter you were riding (i.e. Bird, Lime, etc.) Our office has helped many recover compensation for the various damages that are often suffered in these types of accidents and we would be happy to assess your incident to determine the value of it.