The trend toward electric scooter use is on the rise, with urban areas looking to reduce traffic congestion and carbon emissions. Electric scooters are fun to ride, and shared scooter programs are quite popular. However, with the increased use of these motorized skateboard-like transportation devices, so comes increased accidents and property damage. If you have been injured as a scooter rider or by a scooter rider, you may find yourself dealing with the complexities of scooter accident liability. Our Butler County electric scooter accident attorney from SMT Legal can help.
Dangers of Electric Scooters
Scooters are inherently dangerous for a variety of reasons, the most obvious of which is visibility concerns. Scooters are relatively mall, so riders are less visible than they may realize as they move down the street, sidewalk or bike trail. Additional dangers include:
- Lack of injury protection: Scooter riders are completely exposed to the elements. They have no metal cage or airbag like they would in a standard passenger car, so they are more susceptible to injuries.
- Lack of stability: Two small wheels support the body of the scooter and the rider, making them quite unstable. A slight jostle or even a dip or bump on the sidewalk can result in loss of balance and ensuing accidents.
- Inexperienced riders: Most people riding shared scooters have zero experience riding a scooter, and when they rent a scooter from a shared scooter company, they have no practice time before the meter starts ticking.
- No helmet requirement: Scooter riders are relatively unregulated and most ride without a helmet. Scooter go up to 15 miles per hour, so any fall can be quite significant, yet the head is left unprotected.
- Sketchy maintenance: Shared scooters are not regulated for maintenance, so it’s up to companies to maintain them in proper working order. Worn brakes, defective motors and deflated tires can all lead to accidents—and are all common maintenance problems.
- Hazardous road conditions: The terrain upon which scooter riders ride can be a danger itself. Construction debris, potholes, and pedestrians on foot all pose safety hazards for scooter operation.
Product Liability Claims
Some scooter accident claims may also be directed to the manufacturer if the accident was a result of a problem in the manufacturing chain of the scooter. These claims usually fall under manufacturing defects, design defects, or marketing defects. For example, a structural problem with the scooter during manufacturing made it unsafe to ride, or the design of the scooter was deemed to be unsafe. Failing to warn the rider about the dangers of use can also be construed as a marketing defect.