Electric scooters are a significant part of the micro-mobility sector - a convenient mode of transportation comprised of lightweight, low-occupancy vehicles - and have gained popularity over the past several years not only throughout the U.S. but also globally. The rationale for the increasing adoption of e-scooters in urban areas is that they cover a broad range of population needs:
- short-distance commuting
- affordable and widely available
- lighter and faster than conventional means of transport
- environmentally friendly
However, the rise in the number of vehicle users is directly proportional to the increase in e-scooter-related accidents, and the injuries can be catastrophic.
Common Causes of Electric Scooter Accidents
The alarming reality is that most people are entirely unaware of the significant injury risks that e-scooter riding can inflict. These dangerous vehicles can affect not only riders but other road users as well:
- car drivers
The most prevalent causes of e-scooter accidents concern both riders and other road participants:
- Distracted driving - texting, listening to music, eating, or drinking a beverage can represent threats to the lives of all road users.
- Impaired or reckless drivers - driving under the influence or without paying proper attention to the road can cause accidents.
- Speed - electric scooters can go fast, up to 30 mph.
- Improper e-scooter parking - most riders leave the vehicles in unsafe zones, blocking public pathways and creating hazards.
- The absence of riding lessons - there is no required training to be allowed to ride an e-scooter.
- Disregarding traffic regulations - a lot of electric scooter users do not own a driving license, therefore increasing the risk of collisions by not respecting traffic laws.
- Tandem riding - many users choose to share their e-scooter ride with someone else, putting their partners at risk when they should be riding alone.
- No use of helmet and other protective equipment - states have different laws concerning helmet use, and there is no national legislation to impose wearing a helmet.
- Sidewalk access - the rider usually travels on roadways and bicycle lanes, but the risk of accidents increases when they maneuver through pedestrian traffic on sidewalks.
- Circumstances beyond control - road hazards or defective products can cause electric scooter users to crash.
Electric Scooter Accidents Statistics
Many e-scooter users fail to adequately follow safety measures when riding, thus becoming more vulnerable to severe injuries resulting from a collision:
- Fractures - facial, skull, and extremities
- Spinal cord injury
- Traumatic brain injury
- Severe bleeding
- Ligament or nerve injury
- Blunt chest and abdominal trauma
The number of electric scooter accidents recorded since 2017 is distressing. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), the injuries and deaths involving e-scooters are on the rise. Here's what the latest data show:
- More than 190,000 emergency room visits were due to all micro-mobility products from 2017 and gradually increasing until 2020.
- Much of the increase involves e-scooter emergency room visits.
- The most frequent injuries were to upper and lower limbs, head, and neck.
- 71 fatalities associated with micro-mobility products were reported throughout this period, although the recording is incomplete.
This same report highlights other practical findings, respectively that the hazards associated with e-scooters involve specific factors and subsequent preventive measures can help avoid injuries:
- Mechanical and electrical - check the e-scooter for any damage. Before going on a ride, inspect the handlebars, brakes, bell, lights, throttle, tires, cables, frame.
- Human factors - make sure to wear protective gear and pay attention to the road, regulations, and everyone else around you.
Determining Liability in Electric Scooter Accidents
If you happen to end up getting into an e-scooter accident, it is imperative that you:
- Seek medical attention immediately.
- Call law enforcement, especially if the collision involves another party.
- Document the incident as accurately as possible.
The outcome will depend on the parties involved and who is at fault. Liability in e-scooter accidents is typically based on negligence - the lack of reasonable care for the safety of other road users can hold riders liable for any injuries resulting from a related accident.
Potential e-scooter accident scenarios:
- If an electric scooter hits a vehicle - then the rider will have to pay for the damages to the vehicle.
- If an electric scooter hits a pedestrian - then similarly, the rider is liable for the injuries caused to the pedestrian.
- When a motorist fails to respect a road sign or traffic light and hits a scooter - the driver is considered negligent and can be pursued for a claim. The car insurance can generally cover the damages.
However, if a scooter is defective, the situation may take a different turn - since a user agreement that the rider has probably signed might not allow them to pursue a manufacturer for the malfunction that caused the injury. Therefore, electric scooter drivers take on also a tremendous financial risk if they are at fault in an accident.
Involved in an E-Scooter Accident in Miami, Florida? We Can Help
If you or your loved ones have been injured in an accident involving an electric scooter in Florida, call The Law Offices of Sean M. Cleary today. We can help by:
- taking the proper steps to build a solid case
- investigating the accident
- identifying the at-fault party or parties
Our experienced personal injury attorney is ready to review your case for free and pursue a claim on your behalf, regardless of the circumstances of the accident. The compensation for severe injuries includes:
- medical expenses
- disability, scars, or severe disfigurement
- lost wages
- pain and suffering