How Many Scooter Accidents A Year?
Electric scooters, or e-scooters, are everywhere these days, especially in Los Angeles. The micromobility (lightweight vehicles that operate under 25 mph) trend has taken the world by storm, providing easy, cheap transportation to anyone who needs it. But unfortunately, with the increased popularity of scooters over the last few years, there has of course been an uptick in scooter accidents as well. If you’re involved in a scooter accident, the risk of injury can be much greater due to your vulnerability as a rider on the road. Unlike cars, electric scooters don’t provide protection to riders in the event of a crash, which can lead to serious wounds and even death. This is why, if you’re injured in an incident involving an electric scooter, it’s especially important to have a trusted scooter accident lawyer on your side.
Scooter Sharing Programs
Electric scooters, and particularly scooter sharing programs, have come about as a solution to decrease congestion and make transportation more accessible for communities. Scooter sharing programs are similar to that of rideshare programs, in the sense that riders can rent usage of the vehicles from an app. The most popular scooter sharing programs in Los Angeles are Bird and Lime, while Lyft has recently revoked its micromobility offerings in the city. This has become a popular way to commute, as users can rent a scooter for as little as $1 to unlock, and $0.30 per minute.
Scooter Regulations in California
Many cities worldwide have strengthened their laws around the usage of electric scooters due to concerns around the safety of riders and pedestrians. Other locations have yet to put scooter laws into practice, causing even greater worries. However, the state of California is among the more scooter-regulated locations with many laws to abide by if you’re a rider.
- Electric scooters must only be operated on bike paths or trails, and never on sidewalks or crosswalks.
- The speed limit for scooters in California tops out at 15 mph, however, some electric scooters are known to reach speeds of up to 75 mph, which can create a hazardous situation.
- There isn’t a specific type of license required to operate a scooter, and as long as you have a valid driver’s license, or even a driver’s permit, you’re entitled to ride.
- Minors must wear a helmet while operating a scooter.
- There can be only one rider on an electric scooter at a time; i.e. no passengers are allowed.
- All traffic rules that apply to cars also apply to electric scooters, as they share the same responsibility of due diligence.
What Are the Safety Concerns for Scooters?
As the demand for e-scooters has increased, so has the issue of safety. In a study published by JAMA Surgery, electric scooter injuries are reportedly now more common than motorcycle injuries, with less than 5% of riders wearing helmets. It was also estimated that 20 – 25 of every 100,000 trips will result in an emergency room visit. Some of the most common injuries include broken bones, lacerations, abrasions, and brain injuries, with 30% of emergency room visits due to micromobility accidents being diagnosed with head and neck trauma.
In a report from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, there were 117,600 people who sought medical treatment following a scooter accident between 2017 and 2021. While the majority of experienced riders won’t find themselves in a dire accident, it’s always a risk when you take an electric scooter for a ride.
What Do You Do When in a Scooter Accident?
Some potentially hazardous incidents can be avoided, or at least lessened, when riders wear a helmet, maintain awareness of their surroundings at all times, ride within the speed limit, use a headlight and reflective clothing, and never operate their scooter while under the influence. Some of the most common accidents are often unavoidable for the rider, including car doors opening, damaged roads, negligent drivers, distracted pedestrians, mechanical malfunctions, and blind spots.
If you do unfortunately find yourself in a scooter accident, it’s crucial to follow the same procedure you would in a car accident in order to protect yourself and your potential case. This includes scanning yourself for any injuries, and regardless of your findings, it’s advised that you seek medical attention when possible. Call the police department to make a statement. Then, take plenty of photos of the scene and log everything you can remember about the incident, including key details, any other involved parties (including their contact information, insurance, and license plate number), and any information you can obtain from witnesses. This will all be vital if you make a claim, or if your case goes to trial. Finally, get in touch with a scooter accident attorney as soon as you can, as you’ll want to have legal representation quickly, sometimes before you even make a claim.
Who is Liable?
When injured in a scooter accident, you may be able to claim damages if you can prove the incident was a result of someone else’s negligence. You may also have to prove that you weren’t in any way violating an electric scooter agreement, or that you were negligent yourself. Liability may fall with the scooter sharing service, scooter manufacturer, a negligent driver, or a government body in the event that the accident was due to poorly maintained or unsafe roads. In some cases, liability may fall on more than one party. Consulting with a trusted scooter accident attorney can help determine the best course of action, as these cases often become complicated quickly.
Los Angeles E Scooter Accident Attorneys
Trying to seek compensation after a scooter accident can be difficult. Point Law Group, LLP has some of the best scooter accident lawyers ready to fight for you. With experience in litigating cases until the end, we’re here to make the complicated legal process simple for you. If you’ve been injured in a scooter accident, give us a call at (310)560-0606 to book a free consultation today!
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