Fort Lauderdale Electric Scooter Accident Attorneys Serving Victims and Families
As our electric scooter accident attorneys know all too well, eScooters present a variety of safety risks for riders. A study co-published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Austin Public Health in 2019 found a direct and immediate correlation between the introduction of rentable electric scooters and an increase in scooter-related injuries. According to the study:
“Concurrently with [eScooters’] appearance, doctors at local hospitals and the local emergency medical services began observing injuries associated with this emerging mode of transportation. This was not unique to Austin. In January 2019, researchers from Los Angeles, California published findings characterizing injuries associated with e-scooter use among patients seen at two emergency departments.”
While the study found a significant increase in the number of scooter-related hospitalizations over the three-month period following the introduction of rentable eScooters in Austin, the authors also noted that the study, “likely underestimates the prevalence of e-scooter related injuries.”
5 Known Serious and Fatal Injury Risks Associated with Electric Scooters
According to the CDC’s study, five of the most-common factors involved in electronic scooter accidents resulting in hospitalizations are:
1. Excessive Speed
Modern electric scooters are designed to travel at up to 15 miles per hour. This is more than enough speed to cause traumatic injuries in the event of a crash. According to the study, 37 percent of scooter accident victims reported that excessive scooter speed was a contributing factor of their injuries.
2. Lack of Experience
The CDC and Austin Public Health concluded that, “a third of the interviewed riders were injured during their first e-scooter ride[; and, overall], 63% of the injured riders had ridden an e-scooter nine times or fewer before injury.” Critically, while the study acknowledges that riders are provided with access to training on eScooter use via rental companies’ phone apps, it also notes that “additional training may be necessary” in order to protect inexperienced riders.
3. Lack of Safety Protections
“Almost half of the injured riders in th[e] study sustained an injury to the head. A traumatic brain injury was experienced by 15%.” Despite the speed at which electronic scooters can travel and the fact that most renters are not experienced riders, eScooter rental companies do not provide helmets or other safety equipment with their scooters.
4. Traffic Congestion
One in 10 electronic scooter accidents involves a collision with a motor vehicle. Electronic scooter accidents tend to be concentrated around downtown areas where riders may be forced to cope with heavy traffic congestion.
5. Unfamiliarity for Drivers
According to the CDC, “continuing education for motorized vehicle drivers and e-scooter riders is needed to prevent collisions.” In cases involving vehicle collisions, it appears that drivers may be unsure of what to do when they encounter electronic scooters on the road.
Types of Scooters That Can Cause Accidents
The proliferation of rentable electric scooters across the country has led to a rise in the popularity of eScooters in general. Along with scooter rental companies like Bird, Lime and Spin, several manufacturers sell electronic scooters for personal use in stores and online. These scooters come in various shapes and sizes, and range from light and foldable two-wheel scooters to much larger three and four-wheel scooters with seats, baskets and other features.
Rentable Dockless eScooters
Most of the rentable electric scooters available today are known as “dockless” scooters. They are called “dockless” because renters can pick them up and leave them virtually anywhere (although laws and regulations generally require that eScooters be left out of pedestrian and vehicle traffic lanes and other rights of way). When a dockless electronic scooter is running low on charge, an individual working for the scooter rental company will pick it up, charge it and then drop it off at another public location.
While each eScooter rental company touts its own unique features and benefits, most rentable dockless scooters are fairly similar. They have two wheels, they can go somewhere in the range of 20 miles on a single charge (enough for multiple rentals in most cases) and they connect to the rental companies’ apps so that riders can pick them up, drop them off and pay with just their phones. Riders can check their scooters’ battery levels in the app as well, and speeds are usually limited to 15 miles per hour (which is the legal limit in most cities).
Other Types of Electric Scooters
Along with rentable dockless eScooters, various other types of electric scooters are available as well. Similar to rentable scooters, lack of safety features, speed and other factors all present accident risks for riders of:
- Children’s Scooters – Electric scooters marketed specifically to children can be particularly dangerous for kids who do not have prior experience with similar pieces of equipment.
- Mobility Scooters – Three and four-wheeled mobility scooters may offer more stability than two-wheeled electric scooters; however, they can still present injury risks for unsuspecting riders.
- Moped Scooters – While traditionally gas-powered, mopeds are now sold with electric power, and they can often travel faster than other types of eScooters.
- Seated Scooters – Some two, three and four-wheel eScooters include seats for the rider. While this provides added comfort, it may also be more difficult to safely disembark from a seated position in the event of an accident or emergency.
- Self-Balancing Scooters – Segway scooters and other self-balancing scooters (or “personal transporters”) can also be dangerous for inexperienced riders and for those traveling in high-traffic areas.
Speak with a Fort Lauderdale Electric Scooter Accident Lawyer about Your Legal Rights
Have you or a loved one been injured in an electronic scooter accident? If so, we encourage you to contact us for a free consultation about your legal rights. To find out if you may be entitled to financial compensation, call 954-764-4849 or inquire online now.