Electric scooters seem to be everywhere nowadays, which is why there has been a recent uptick in electric scooter accidents. While scooters look like nothing more than souped-up children’s toys, the truth is that they can be quite dangerous for the rider and for others on the street or sidewalk. ERs and urgent care centers have been pummeled with patients in the past few years who have been injured on scooters, including the popular ridesharing scooters that are now commonplace in nearly all big cities. And it isn’t just reports of injured riders; pedestrians are also being injured when scooter drivers drive into them, run them over, or leave no-longer-needed scooters haphazardly on the street, posing a tripping risk. If you or a loved one has been injured on a scooter or by a scooter rider, you have a right to seek compensation for your injuries. Contact our Mercer County electric scooter accident attorney from SMT Legal to review the details of your accident as soon as possible.
The Dangers of Electric Scooters
Electric scooters may look innocuous enough, but as many riders have quickly learned, they can be quite the opposite. The inherent dangers from scooters arise from a variety of issues, including the fact that:
- Scooters are small and hard to see: They oftentimes become obscured by obstacles in the landscape or by traffic. This makes them a target for cars moving on the street or even for bicycles on bike paths.
- Scooters offer no protection from falls: There is nothing in the design of the scooter to keep a rider from becoming injured as a result of an impact or crash. Scooters are little more than skateboards with handlebars.
- Scooters require balance: Riding a scooter requires a good balance, which is something not everyone has.
- Riders receive no training: While some scooter sharing companies offer online training videos, watching them is not a requirement to use them. Riders just take off on their rented scooters, sometimes oblivious about safe use.
- Helmets are optional: No scooter company requires users to wear a helmet, which leaves them open to traumatic brain injury if the right circumstances occur.
- Maintenance can be an issue: Because shared electric scooter programs are a relatively new phenomenon, there is minimal or even no regulation on their upkeep. This means that brakes can fail, throttles can stick, tires can deflate—all of which can cause unsafe use conditions.
- Defective scooters are out there: Like any product, scooters are sometimes defective, either by design or manufacturing defect. Reports of handlebars breaking off during rides or the decks of scooters completely breaking in half during use represent just some of the defects reported recently in ridesharing scooters.