Are Electric Scooters More Dangerous Than Bicycles?
Los Angeles is crowded, which means lots of traffic. Many people are trying to circumvent the headaches of LA traffic with electric scooters. E-scooters, whether from rideshare programs or privately owned, can be eco-friendly, convenient, and affordable methods of transportation. However, they can also be dangerous.
Electric scooters have been shown to be more dangerous than bicycles. In fact, according to a recent study published in JAMA Network Open, e-scooters send more people to the hospital that bicycles and walking. This has lead to a number of e-scooter lawsuits.
The dangerous facts
The study was conducted between September 2017 and August 2018 in two different LA emergency rooms. It found that, during the one-year time period, 249 people were admitted for e-scooter injuries, compared to just 195 for bicycle injuries and 181 for pedestrian injuries.
Out of the 249 e-scooter injured people:
- 28% suffered from sprains, lacerations, and contusions
- 30% had fractures
- 40% had head injuries
- 15 people were admitted to the hospital
- 2 were put into intensive care for severe head injuries
The dangers for both pedestrians and riders
E-scooters don’t just pose a threat for scooter riders. As the study shows, pedestrians are also in danger from electric scooters either because of careless riding or slips, trips and falls.
E-scooters are left on sidewalks all across the city, blocking walkways and posing trip hazards. Scooter riders also often ride on sidewalks, taking refuge from overcrowded roads or missing bike lanes, and can hit unsuspecting pedestrians with deadly consequences.
Pedestrians that have been hit by a scooter or trip over a parked scooter can have bone fractures, broken hips, joint injuries, broken ribs, soft tissue injuries, and severe abrasions and lacerations.
Why electric scooters become unsafe
E-scooters do offer a lot of advantages over cars, but, as the JAMA Network Open study shows, they can rapidly become unsafe.
But why are e-scooters so dangerous? Because of:
- Lack of Safety Buffers – Cars, trucks, and buses have seatbelts, airbags, and metal frameworks that protect drives and riders. E-scooter riders don’t have any of these safety buffers, making accidents that much more dangerous.
- Careless Driving – Anecdotal evidence suggests that a lot of scooter riders and owners don’t follow traffic laws. They swerve through traffic, ride on sidewalks, ignore stop signs and lights, and even text while driving.
- Low Helmet Use – The same JAMA study also found that 94.3% of observed e-scooter riders were not wearing a helmet.
- Lack of Standardized Regulations – As e-scooters are still fairly new, there is a lack of standardized laws and regulations for riding. This causes dangerous confusion and difficulty enforcing laws.
Break the cycle
One way to address the issue of dangerous e-scooter conditions is to follow basic safety tips such as:
- Always wear a helmet
- Ride alone, as e-scooters are designed for individual use
- Focus on operating the scooter and avoid texting, eating, or other multitasks
- Follow basic vehicle safety rules like using a turn signal and observing speed limits
- Ride sober
- Wear reflective clothing, especially at night, dawn, or dusk
- Know and follow local laws
- If renting the e-scooter, follow common courtesy guidelines such as leaving the scooter in a safe, approved location
- If you own the scooter, perform regular maintenance
When the safety guidelines fail
It’s naive to assume that everyone will follow these e-scooter safety guidelines, which will lead to more accidents and injuries.
If you’ve been injured in a scooter accident you may be entitled to compensation. Ellis Injury Law has a team of e-scooter lawyers that can help you, whether you were injured as a pedestrian because of a negligent scooter rider or were hurt while riding an e-scooter because of a negligent driver.
It’s essential to take quick action after an e-scooter accident in order to make sure you get the compensation and justice you deserve. Our team here at Ellis Injury Law is standing by to help you after your e-scooter accident. We’ve recovered more than $350 million on behalf of our clients over our years of service and would be happy to work with you.
Call today to schedule a free consultation to discuss your options.