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Are Electric Scooters Safe?

by | Sep 19, 2019 | Car Accidents, Personal Injury

In the short time since the introduction of electric scooters to Milwaukee and other metros nationwide, they have generated a great deal of controversy – and many safety concerns.

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett has warned users that the electric scooters that appeared in the city this summer are to be used on the street, not on the sidewalk, noting that the city has received more than 100 complaints already. Atlanta and other cities have banned them entirely, while cities like Virginia Beach have banned their use in certain locations. The question is: are the safety concerns well-founded?

According to an article from The Verge, which cites a study from the Center for Disease Control, the answer is yes. The study concluded that 20 individuals are injured for every 100,000 electric scooter rides that take place. While this may seem like a small percentage, it is worth noting that many of the injuries have been severe. Victims of electric scooter accidents have suffered traumatic brain injuries and other head injuries, in part due to the lack of helmet use that is common among electric scooter riders. In several severe cases, the accident led to the death of the electric scooter rider.

What may catch some people by surprise is that only a small number of electric scooter accidents were attributed to cars. In those cases, the car either struck the rider or forced the rider off the road. More often though, accidents were the result of electric scooter riders hitting curbs, parked cars or other objects, often at the highest speed the scooters can reach. Further, many victims attributed their accidents to electric scooter defects such as faulty brakes or steering.

The electric scooter users are not the only ones at risk. Most users have never used an electric scooter before and are unaware of the rules that need to be followed, putting others at risk as well. Electric scooter users are to follow the same rules as bicyclists. Unfortunately, many ride on the sidewalk, putting pedestrians at risk of serious injuries. Matters may be made worse by intoxicated users.

Victims of electric scooter accidents may have avenues to pursue compensation for medical bills, lost wages and other expenses that resulted from their injuries. Those hit by negligent drivers may be able to pursue action against the driver, for example. Discussing the matter with an experienced personal injury attorney can help determine if a claim can be filed and what the value of the claim may be.