In the bustling streets of Boise, Idaho, the popularity of electric scooters, commonly known as e-scooters, has surged. With this rise comes an essential question for the community and visitors alike: Are e-scooters safe? Meyer Injury Lawyers delves into this topic to bring clarity and guidance to e-scooter users and pedestrians in Boise.
E-scooters are electrically powered, two-wheeled vehicles that provide a convenient and eco-friendly mode of transportation. They've become a popular choice for short-distance travel in urban areas. However, their ease of access and increasing presence on city streets have raised questions about safety and regulations. This increase in popularity begs the question, "are e-scooters safe?"
To answer the question, "are e-scooters safe?" let's look at some statistics.
Between 2017 and 2022, injuries associated with e-scooters and other micro-mobility devices increased significantly. In 2022 alone, injuries rose by 22% from the previous year. During this period, there were 233 deaths associated with these devices, and more than 360,000 emergency department visits were related to e-scooters, e-bikes, and hoverboards.
Children 14 years and younger accounted for about 36% of e-scooter injuries from 2017 to 2022, which is double their proportion of the U.S. population. Non-Hispanic Black consumers represented 29% of micro-mobility device-related injuries, significantly higher than their 13% of the U.S. population.
The most frequent injuries from e-scooter accidents include fractures, contusions, abrasions, and injuries to the upper and lower limbs, as well as the head and neck.
Research indicates that e-scooter riders suffer injuries more frequently per mile traveled compared to bicyclists. Most e-scooter riders (nearly 60%) were injured while riding on the sidewalk, with about a third of these injuries occurring in areas where sidewalk riding is prohibited. Only about 25% of the injured scooter riders were commuting to work, with the rest using the scooters for errands or leisure.
Only 2% of injured e-scooter riders reported wearing a helmet, compared with 66% of injured bicyclists. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recommends always wearing a bicycle helmet when riding an e-scooter to protect against head injuries.
So- are e-scooters safe? The safety of e-scooters is a multifaceted issue that warrants a nuanced examination. While e-scooters offer a convenient and environmentally friendly mode of transportation, their safety largely depends on several factors, including rider behavior, infrastructure, and regulatory compliance.
To answer the question, "are e-scooters safe?, lets dig into what impacts overall safety.
The safety of e-scooters is significantly influenced by the rider's behavior and skill. Inexperienced riders or those engaging in risky behaviors, such as speeding, not wearing helmets, or riding under the influence, are more prone to accidents.
The condition of roads plays a critical role. E-scooters are more vulnerable to accidents on poorly maintained roads with potholes, cracks, or uneven surfaces. Additionally, areas with heavy traffic pose higher risks due to potential collisions with larger vehicles.
The mechanical integrity of the e-scooter is crucial. Regular maintenance and checks for defects, such as brake functionality and tire integrity, are essential for safe operation.
When compared to other modes of transportation like bicycles or cars, e-scooters have unique safety challenges due to their design and operation. For instance, the smaller wheels of e-scooters make them more susceptible to accidents caused by road imperfections. While this doesn't flat out answer, "are e-scooters safe?" it does give us a good comparison to other modes of transportation.
E-scooter companies are also crucial players in ensuring safety. By providing well-maintained scooters, offering safety instructions to users, and collaborating with cities to address safety concerns, these companies can help mitigate risks.
Common causes of e-scooter accidents include a variety of factors, often related to rider behavior, environmental conditions, and other road users. Here's a detailed look at these causes:
Many e-scooter riders are inexperienced or unfamiliar with how to operate these devices safely. This lack of experience can lead to accidents, as riders may not know how to navigate traffic, balance properly, or react to sudden changes in their environment.
E-scooters, with their smaller wheels, are more susceptible to accidents caused by poor road conditions. Potholes, uneven surfaces, and debris on the roads can easily destabilize an e-scooter, leading to falls and collisions.
E-scooter riders share the road with larger vehicles whose drivers may not always be vigilant about the presence of scooters. Accidents can occur when drivers of cars, trucks, or buses fail to yield, overlook an e-scooter in their blind spots, or drive recklessly.
Mechanical issues with the e-scooter itself, such as brake failure, battery issues, or steering problems, can lead to accidents. Regular maintenance and checks by e-scooter companies and users are crucial to prevent such incidents.
Operating an e-scooter while under the influence impairs judgment and reaction times, significantly increasing the risk of accidents.
Using a mobile phone, listening to music with headphones, or any other activity that distracts the rider can lead to a loss of control and accidents.
This includes riding with more than one person on a scooter, performing stunts, or using the scooter in a manner for which it was not designed.
Not wearing appropriate safety gear, especially helmets, increases the risk of severe injuries in the event of an accident.
Riding e-scooters on sidewalks where they may encounter pedestrians, obstacles, or uneven surfaces can lead to accidents. In many places, riding on sidewalks is also against the law.
Like any vehicle, e-scooters are subject to traffic laws. Accidents can occur when riders ignore traffic signals, ride on the wrong side of the road, or fail to give right of way when required.
E-scooters are smaller and may not be as easily visible to other road users, especially at night or in poor weather conditions, leading to accidents.
While we discuss the answer to the question, "are e-scooters safe?" we also find in important to educate you incase your are injured. Like any form of transportation, there is a risk of accidents and injuries. Knowing what steps to take if you are injured while riding an e-scooter is crucial for your health, safety, and any potential legal actions.
Your health is the top priority. If you are injured, seek medical attention right away, even if the injuries seem minor. Some injuries, especially head injuries, may not show immediate symptoms but can be serious.
If it’s a serious accident, call 911. Reporting the accident to the police is important, especially if it involves another vehicle, pedestrian, or significant property damage. Notify the e-scooter company. Most e-scooter companies have a reporting mechanism through their app or website. Reporting the incident to them is crucial, especially if there was a malfunction with the scooter.
Take photos of the accident scene, your injuries, the e-scooter, and any other relevant details. Gather contact information of any witnesses. Keep medical records and receipts related to your injury and treatment.
Be careful about what you say following the accident. Even saying something as simple as "I'm sorry" can be misconstrued as an admission of fault. Stick to the facts when discussing the accident.
If you have personal health insurance, they may cover some of your medical costs. If you were involved in a collision with a vehicle, you might need to contact the driver's auto insurance as well.
Consider consulting with a personal injury attorney, especially if you have significant injuries or there are complexities in determining fault. An attorney can provide guidance on how to proceed and whether you may be entitled to compensation.
Follow your doctor’s recommendations and keep up with any necessary treatments or follow-up appointments. This is crucial for your health and in documenting the impact of the injury.
Document any ongoing issues, pain, or limitations you experience as a result of the injury. This can be important if you pursue a personal injury claim.
If you've been injured in an e-scooter accident, don't wait to take action. Your health and legal rights are paramount. Contact us today for a free consultation to understand your options and ensure your rights are fully protected.
To answer the question, are e-scooters safe?: E-scooters can be safe when used responsibly and within the framework of proper regulations and infrastructure. The responsibility for safety is shared among riders, e-scooter companies, city planners, and other road users. As the e-scooter landscape continues to evolve, so too should the measures to ensure their safe use.
If you've suffered an e-scooter injury, Meyer Injury Lawyers is here to help. We understand the challenges you're facing and are dedicated to fighting for your rights.
Reach out to us now at (208) 519-7224 for legal support and guidance on your path to recovery and justice.