What’s Happening in the E-Scooter Industry & How You Can Stay Safe

Within the last year or so, app-driven e-scooters have rolled into our urban landscape and changed the way we get around. They provide a cheap way to commute quickly and are conveniently dockless. Companies such as Bird, Lime and Skip have made it easy for riders to zip around sidewalks and streets. But, the recent spike in ER visits has doctors worried that these helmet-free e-scooters arenít worth the risk.

E-Scooter Backlash

The distribution of bikes around many cities seemed to happen overnight. This swift entrance has given lawmakers, drivers and locals little time to prepare. As a result, this has caused a major backfire. Bird (the ringleader of the movement) makes it very clear to riders that they’re on their own in the event of an accident.

That means your car insurance policy may not cover you if you are in an accident. According to Birds agreement, ďYour automotive insurance policies may not provide coverage for accidents involving damage to this vehicle. To determine if coverage is provided, you should contact your automotive insurance company or agent.Ē This explicit warning also shows that if you are in an accident, your insurance company might not cover your injuries because you are signing a liability waiver.

According to injury lawyer, Bill Shirer, ďThere has been a huge increase in the number of lawsuits against Bird and other companies. Many riders are filing class action suits for gross negligence, claiming that these large e-scooter companies knew the scooters were dangerous and deployed them in a way that was certain to cause injuries.Ē Many feel these large multi-billion dollar corporations are putting profit before safety.

Electric Scooter Laws

A recent law in California now paves the way for even more potential accidents. Assembly Bill 2989 eliminates a state requirement that adult riders wear helmets. In addition, this new law allows riders to go over 35 mph (previous limits were at 35 mph). This bill paves the way for scooter expansion but doesnít necessarily support an initiative to increase safety.

Pedestrian advocates also argue these dockless e-scooters pose a threat to sidewalks. Since there’s no designated place to park these bikes, many people tend to leave them in the middle of the sidewalk. This is a major safety concern for people who are in wheelchairs, bicyclists and joggers.

Ride at Your Own Risk

Since these scooters are so new, there is no official statistics on just how many people are headed to the ER for electric scooter injuries. Injuries can include everything from broken ribs, ankles, wrists, multiple stitches. traumatic brain injuries, cracked jaw and much more. Health officials and these major scooter companies are working toward enforcing regulations and combating the safety issues. For example, Bird offers free helmets to riders from their website (you just have to pay the shipping fee).

Tips For Safe Riding:

  • Avoid riding at night and always make sure your lights are working.
  • Before going on a trip, make sure you check that your brakes are properly working, your handlebars arenít loose and your tires are in good condition.
  • Only one rider per-scooter. Doubling up riders will only double your chance of an accident.
  • Avoid a slip and fall injury, donít ride in the rain or on damp ground.
  • Be on alert for road hazards such as small curbs, potholes and sewers.
  • Minimize all distractions and keep both hands on the handlebars at all times.
  • Never operate an electric scooter under the influence.
  • Donít use your phone, camera or anything that could distract you while riding.

Electric scooters donít seem to be going anywhere. In fact, the expansion is happening at a rapid rate. Itís clear that these major companies and local councils need to come together to find a safer alternative to operating electric scooters around our roads. The spike in injuries is a major cause for concern. The lack of regulation poses a great threat to pedestrians and drivers. Be cautious when riding and always practice safety and follow the rules of the road.

 

39 comments

Hannah A
Hannah A6 days ago

Thank you

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Pietro Maiorana
Pietro Maiorana14 days ago

Ho la netta impressione che gli e-scooter in circolazione vengono usati più come mezzo di divertimento che di spostamento. L'alternativa a quello fotografato in alto potrebbe essere il classico monopattino.

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danii p
danii p26 days ago

Thank you

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danii p
danii p26 days ago

Thank you

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Marija M
Marija M27 days ago

tks

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Maria P
Maria P27 days ago

Thank you for sharing

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Jessica C
Jessica C28 days ago

thx

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danii p
danii p29 days ago

Thanks

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danii p
danii p29 days ago

Thanks

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Chad A
Chad A29 days ago

Thank you.

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