The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently announced that they have launched a study of electric scooter accidents at the request of Austin Public Health and the Austin Transportation Department. Since early 2018, Austin has seen a rise in the number of electric scooters on its city streets and sidewalks. Dockless scooter companies such as Bird Rides and LimeBike were among the first services to launch in Austin. The companies operate much like Uber and Lyft in that users can locate and rent a scooter using an app on their phone. In fact, Uber launched its own electric scooter company, JUMP, in Austin in December 2018. According to some reports, there have been 66 severe traumas, including 19 head injuries, 38 orthopedic injuries, and 13 facial injuries in Austin since the scooters were introduced to the Austin market.
The widow of a Union Pacific Railroad engineer who died in a train collision last October filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the company after an apparent mechanical brake malfunction. On the day of the incident, engineer Jason Martinez's train was heading east to North Platte, Nebraska, when the train's crew realized the brakes were malfunctioning. The crew alerted Union Pacific Railroad dispatch center and informed them that the train had accelerated to 50 mph and was unable to stop. The train ultimately collided with another train that was stopped on the tracks about 18 miles west of Cheyenne, Wyoming. No one was in the stopped train at the time of collision.