Electric Scooters from Bird Scooters and soon Lime and JUMP from Uber have hit the streets of Downtown Sacramento. As Sacramento Injury Lawyers, we immediately saw the risk in people buzzing around the streets and sidewalks of Sacramento, CA. Electric Scooter Rentals are similar to the Bike Share programs companies have rolled out in many cities all over the world. The concept of providing an environmentally friendly solution to alleviate traffic in busy areas of Sacramento makes sense, but even solutions with the best of intentions come with unwanted side effects.
The problem with these electric scooters is that not only the riders but the pedestrians are at risk of a serious accident. Many riders of these electric scooters are not experienced. Quick reactions are required when someone walks out in front of you. These electric scooter rental companies are not providing proper training or a safe place to learn proper scooter safety. The scooter rental companies also limit their own liability by hiding a limitation to the deadline a rider has to file an injury claim. Always read the user agreement Terms and Conditions especially when your safety is at stake.
Electric Scooter usage increases risk of injury in several ways, some of which include:
- Higher Travel Speeds – Electric Scooters from Bird and Lime can reach speeds of 15 MPH with a rider of average weight.
- Scooters being ridden on sidewalks – Currently, Electric Scooters are not allowed on sidewalks, but this could change soon.
- Children riding electric scooters – Currently, you must be 16 years old and have a valid drivers license to operate an electric scooter on the street in California.
- Abandon Electric Scooters being left in the middle of busy sidewalks and in front of building entrances and exits.
- Multiple people riding the electric scooter at the same time.
Electric Scooters are dangerous and they put the rider and those around them at risk when not operated properly and with care. Here are some other issues with electric scooters to consider:
- Scooter riders are less visible to drivers of cars and trucks. The footprint of a scooter and rider is rather small. It is easy to be caught in a drivers blind spot which puts the rider at risk of getting cut off.
- Scooter riders are more vulnerable due to not having any protection between themselves and everything else on the road. Motorcycle operators typically wear protective gear such as kevlar lined gloves and a heavy jacket to protect themselves against a fall. Electric scooter riders are often unprotected putting them at a greater risk of injury than a pedestrian.
- Scooters have small tires that are not as forgiving as car, motorcycle, or even bicycle tires when it comes to road hazards such as potholes, gravel, debris, or uneven surfaces. The scooter can become unstable and even eject the rider causing injury or even death.
- Most electric scooter riders are inexperienced. The rental companies do not require a test or training in order to use their scooters meaning any rider could be a potential hazard not only to themselves but to anyone around them at any time.
- Scooters can become unstable when not properly maintained or when a rider rents a scooter that recently incurred damage.
Electric Scooter Injury Accidents can happen to anybody just as anyone operating a vehicle could end up in a car accident. The best plan of action is to make sure you are protected. Check out our recent article discussing “Who Is Liable in Bird or Lime Electric Scooter Accident.”
California Vehicle Code Section 21235 requires that Electric Scooter Operators:
- Are at least 16 years of age.
- Have a valid drivers license.
- Wear a helmet if the rider is under the age of 18.
- Operate the electric scooter with only a single rider (no tandem)
- Operate the scooter on a street that does not exceed 25 MPH posted speed limit unless operated within a class II bicycle lane.
- Not operate an electric scooter on a sidewalk.
- Not leave a motorized scooter lying on its side on any sidewalk, or park a motorized scooter on a sidewalk in any other position, so that there is not an adequate path for pedestrian traffic.
- Not attach the motorized scooter or himself or herself while on the roadway, by any means, to any other vehicle on the roadway.
We at Curtis Legal Group want you to be safe. If you or someone you know was involved in an Electric Scooter Accident, it is important that they speak to a lawyer who has proper experience with this unique type of transportation accident due to the variety of specific issues at hand. An electric scooter accident can result in injuries that can take you away from work and limit your natural abilities. If the accident was not your fault, someone else is liable for your medical bills, lost wages, and your pain and suffering. It is also important that you work with accident lawyers that are familiar with the user agreements these rental companies force you to sign to use their services.
At Curtis Legal Group, we will help you get through this and get the compensation you deserve. We don’t get paid until you do! Let us know if we can help you.
Please call us at 1-800-LAW-3080 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.