Over the past year or so, electric scooters have surged in popularity. Just two months ago, the manufacturer of one popular scooter, Bird, announced that about one year since launching, 10 million rides had been taken.
Unfortunately, scooter-related accident and injury numbers have also surged. And consumers are fighting back.
In October, a class action lawsuit was filed against two companies – Bird Rides Inc., and Lime – for gross negligence. A total of 9 people are part of the lawsuit. These individuals suffered injuries due to scooters being left on sidewalks and being struck from behind by someone operating a scooter. One of the victims suffered serious tooth damage and a deep lip cut.
Lime recently announced that it would be recalling scooters in their fleet that are manufactured by Okai. These scooters are known to break apart while being used.
Dozens of other people have reported injuries involving e-scooters. Some cities have even temporarily banned the vehicles.
Despite these injuries and obvious risks, electric scooters are likely to remain popular.
What can individuals and parents of young scooter riders do to ensure a safe ride? Here are some tips to keep in mind:
- Read instructions: Electric scooter companies make it quick and easy to rent a scooter. But it is very important for any scooter rider to take time to learn how to safely operate the vehicle. Start out slow, learn how to accelerate, brake, and operate all controls.
- Wear a helmet: A helmet can help protect against serious brain injuries in the event of an accident. Consider wearing knee and elbow pads as well.
- Obey traffic laws: Scooter riders should obey all vehicle traffic laws and only ride in allowed areas.
- Don’t ride in crowded areas: Beginner scooter riders should start out riding in uncrowded areas, away from pedestrians and traffic. This is important for both user and pedestrian safety.
- Ride responsibly: An electric scooter is not a toy – it is a vehicle. Doing stunts, riding in crowded areas, and otherwise riding irresponsibly could have catastrophic results.
In the unfortunate event of a scooter accident, it is important for victims to be aware of their legal options. It is advisable to speak to a personal injury attorney as soon as possible after an accident occurs.