They’re popping up everywhere: Rentable electric scooters, sitting on sidewalks and lawns, ready to be rented, ridden, dropped off – and rented again by the next user.
The rental process is typically app-based, were users download the company’s app and pay by the minute to use the scooter. In areas where scooters are available, riders can rent and begin riding in a matter of seconds.
Not surprisingly, e-scooters are quite dangerous. And as more and more cities get these vehicles, scooter-related injuries are skyrocketing.
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s National Electronic Injury Surveillance system, scooter-related accidents tripled between 2008 and 2017.
Head injuries are especially common among e-scooter users. Most users do not wear helmets – and no helmet is included with the vehicle.
Two of the most common head injuries associated with e-scooter accidents are concussions and brain bleeding.
After a 26-year-old was killed in May while riding a scooter, Nashville is considering banning the vehicles until e-scooter companies propose adequate changes to the city’s regulations.
While scooters remain popular in many cities, what can users do to keep themselves safe on these dangerous and potentially deadly vehicles?
- Don’t drink and scoot: E-scooters and alcohol are a deadly mix. Alcohol can cause riders to make poor decisions and ride irresponsibly, putting them at risk for accidents and injuries.
- Watch your speed: Scooters can reach speeds of up to 30 mph. It is easy to lose control of the vehicle when traveling at higher speeds, especially when hitting a bump, pothole or sidewalk crevice.
- Wear a helmet: Riders are responsible for supplying their own helmets. However inconvenient, it is highly advisable to wear a helmet while using an e-scooter, especially considering how prevalent head injuries are among those who are involved in an accident.
- Check condition of scooter: Don’t get on a scooter that looks damaged or potentially dangerous. Make sure the tires are properly inflated.
- Be aware of your surroundings: Potholes, uneven sidewalks, and cracks in pavement can be extremely dangerous to a scooter user.
- Check local laws: Although regulations vary by city and state, many cities have regulations that provide for e-scooters to be operated in the same manner as a normal bicycle.
Taking these precautions can help prevent many scooter accidents. When a scooter has malfunctioned or a driver has caused a scooter accident, victims may have legal options.
Talk to a personal injury attorney from Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner to learn about your legal options. Call (713) 222-7211 for a free consultation.