Electric scooters (or E-scooters) have popped up on city streets all over Texas. Within months, companies like Bird, Lime, and Blue Duck had added hundreds of electric scooters to the most bustling areas of San Antonio, Corpus Christi, Austin, and El Paso.
While electric scooters have presented a fun new way for city residents and tourists to traverse popular destinations, they also present unique hazards to riders, motorists, and pedestrians which are further complicated by questions of liability, traffic laws, and regulation.
Are Electric Scooters Safe?
Like most vehicles, electric scooters are only as safe as their operators and the other individuals around them. However, similar to motorcycles, electric scooters like those produced by Bird, Lime, and Blue Duck offer little in the way of rider protection.
Some of the most common dangers associated with electric scooters are:
- Rider Inexperience: A large percentage of electric scooter riders are operating the scooters for the first time. Even those who have used a Lime, Bird, or Blue Duck scooter are often unfamiliar with the traffic laws that they must abide by resulting in an increased risk of accidents.
- High-Risk Behavior: While some riders may break traffic laws due to inexperience, other riders due so with reckless disregard. This includes riding on the sidewalk, riding against traffic, or rider while intoxicated.
- Reduced Visibility: Electric scooters are meant to be compact. While this is great for storing the scooters, it also means that motorists are less likely to see scooter riders. Riders can also easily be hidden from view by objects on and off the roadway.
- Road Hazards: Scooters lack stability. As such, common road hazards like potholes, gravel, debris, and uneven surfaces can cause riders to lose control of their scooters and crash.
- Pedestrians: Typically, electric scooters are place in areas with a lot of pedestrian traffic. While most pedestrians are already on the lookout for motor vehicles and bicycles, the majority are not used to checking for oncoming scooters as well. This can lead perceptual blindness where the eye sees the oncoming scooter, but the brain does not immediately register it as a hazard to be avoided.
In addition to the above hazards, potential for accidents can be increased by misuse of the scooters, including:
- Children operating the electric scooters
- People riding the scooters without helmets
- People riding the scooters on sidewalks instead of in a designated bike lane
- Scooters being abandoned in the middle of sidewalks or on the side of streets
- Unoccupied scooters blocking building entrances and exits and handicap access ramps
- More than one person riding on a single scooter at a time
What are the most Common Electric Scooter Accidents?
Just like with car and bicycles, electric scooter accidents can have a variety of causes and some involve multiple contributing factors. Since the launch of electric scooters in Texas, we have seen:
- Scooter accidents caused by potholes, debris, fallen branches, and other road obstructions.
- Scooters caused by a rider trying to avoid a car, pedestrian, or another scooter rider.
- Pedestrians getting struck by negligent and reckless scooter drivers.
- Scooter riders colliding with moving and parked vehicles.
- Drivers crashing their cars in an attempt to avoid a negligent or reckless scooter riders.
- Rear-end collisions that occur after a motorist is forced to slam on the brakes to avoid distracted and inattentive scooter riders.
- Scooter accidents caused by malfunctions or defects in the scooter, including defective brakes, tires, throttles, stems, and handlebars.
What are the most Common Electric Scooter Injuries?
Because electric scooters offer essential no rider protection, injuries can be substantial when an accident does occur.
Injuries that may be suffered in an electric scooter accident include:
What Should I Do If I’ve Been Involved in an Electric Scooter Accident?
If you or a loved one have been injured in an electric scooter accident, call Thomas J. Henry today. Our experienced San Antonio electric scooter accident lawyers are available 24/7, nights and weekends to hear your claim. Scooter accidents can cause great physical and financial harm to an individual and their family. We can help you address medical bills and living costs, letting you focus on healing while we take care of the ongoing legal processes. It is our goal to ensure our clients are taken care of while our injury attorneys fight relentless to obtain the real result you need.
Don’t wait — contact Thomas J. Henry today for a free legal consultation. Our firm has offices in Corpus Christi, San Antonio, Austin, El Paso, and Houston, serving clients across Texas and nationwide. Call us today for a free case review — attorneys are available 24/7, nights and weekends.