New York has been holding out on the dockless electric scooter trend for a long time. Electric scooters have been operating in dozens of cities throughout the country, and now it looks like these convenient forms of transportation may make their way to New York City soon. Scooter companies will not be allowed to operate on the busy sidewalks of Manhattan, but other boroughs could see hundreds of these two-wheeled devices soon.
What are Electric Scooters?
Electric scooters, also known as E-scooters, are provided by a number of different companies including Bird, Lime, and Spin. To use an electric scooter, a user must download an app, enter their credit card information, and then find and scan a scooter. The electric scooter can then be left at the user’s destination. Electric scooters can travel up to 20 mph and will be permitted on sidewalks.
The Dangers of Electric Scooters
While electric scooters may be convenient, they are certainly not the safest mode of transportation. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that there has been a recent uptick in emergency room visits for fractures, dislocations, and head trauma since scooters have hit the streets. The CDC found that 45% of accidents involving scooters resulted in head injuries.
Many of these injuries result from the fact that many riders are not wearing protective gear when they use scooters. While typically riders agree that they will wear a helmet when they sign in to use a scooter, the reality is that most riders are not wearing any protective gear. This makes them particularly vulnerable to serious injuries.
Negligent drivers can cause accidents with scooters. Because scooters have a low profile, they can be difficult for a driver to see, especially if the driver is not paying attention to their surroundings. Drivers need to respect an electric scooter’s space, especially when they are operating in crosswalks. A failure to do so can result in catastrophic injury.
Electric scooter riders also run the danger of encountering defective or improperly maintained scooters. While scooter companies require riders to agree to a waiver of any liability on the part of the company, this may not protect companies from allowing defective or poorly maintained scooters on the road. Scooters with defective brakes, acceleration mechanisms, and worn tires can cause serious injury. Scooter companies should be held responsible for their negligence.
Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney
If you’ve been injured as the result of someone’s negligence, you should have an experienced personal injury attorney evaluate your case. At Bonina & Bonina, P.C., we have over 50 years of experience helping injured New Yorkers. Contact us online or call us at 1-888-MEDLAW1 to schedule your free consultation. Home and hospital visits are available. Se habla español.