How Dangerous is a Scooter?
Scooters pose safety risks that are, in some ways, greater than those associated with bicycles. This is true even of low-powered electric scooters, like those rented by companies such as Bird™ and Lime™.
Proven ways to stay safe while riding a scooter include wearing a DOT approved crash helmet, practicing good road awareness, and avoiding the use of a smartphone or other mobile devices during operation.
Scooters vs. motorcycles and bicycles
Bicycles have been at the heart of American culture for over 100 years, but owning a bike can be very expensive. In addition, some people are unable to ride a foot-pedaled bike due to health or fitness limitations.
Scooters were developed as a more economical and accessible form of two-wheeled transportation. They differ from bicycles in several important ways, including:
- Size: Scooters typically have a smaller, more compact frame.
- Design: Instead of pedals, the operator has a platform on which to rest his or her feet.
- Weight: Most scooters weigh less than the average steel-frame bicycle. This makes it easier to handle and transport. But it can also expose the operator to added safety risks, because of the reduced crash resistance of a scooter’s frame.
- Convenience: This is especially true of the typical electric-powered rental scooter, thousands of which are available in cities across the US.
Operated responsibly, scooters are reasonably safe and reliable. They also, however, pose added potential risks compared to bicycles, such as:
- Less stability: Scooters have small wheels, making them more likely to tip over on curves and unstable road surfaces.
- Reduced visibility: The compact design of most scooters means that motorists are less likely to notice them on the open road.
- A false perception of being “safer”: One of the chief disadvantages of scooters is the misconception that they’re a safer alternative to bicycles. This can cause scooter users to neglect important safety gear such as gloves, durable clothes, and a DOT approved crash helmet.
Scooters are not inherently unsafe, however, owning or operating a scooter means following important safety precautions such as these:
- Wearing the right gear: A safety helmet is absolutely essential for every scooter, even a low-powered electric model. Your dealer or an experienced scooter operator can advise you of other important accessories to wear while using the product.
- Paying attention to what’s going on around you: An alert operator is the best safeguard against scooter accidents. Anything that steals your attention away from the surrounding environment is a potential safety hazard. For this reason, you should never use a smartphone or other mobile computing device while riding any type of scooter.
- Following manufacturer-recommended maintenance steps (if you own your scooter).
- Taking a class in safe scooter operation: The more you know about the device, the more proficient you will be when operating it. You’ll also find helpful scooter safety videos online.
- Practicing responsible riding etiquette: Avoid sidewalks, dismount your scooter and walk with it through intersections and crossways, and remember that pedestrians always have the right-of-way.
Sometimes scooter accidents occur despite the best efforts of the operator to avoid them. Should you find yourself in this situation, the Southern California scooter accident attorneys here at Ellis Injury Law are ready to help you in any way they can.
Reach out if you’ve been in an e-scooter accident
Here’s what Ellis Injury Law brings to the table:
- Proven results: Our legal team has recovered millions of dollars for our clients over the years. These funds have helped a number of injury victims to pay medical bills, meet living expenses, and lay the foundation for a successful future.
- Proven approach: Client well-being is at the heart of everything we do here at Ellis Injury Law. You’ll know this is true from the moment you contact us. We always remember that you’re a person, not a case number.
- Proven ethics: We never charge for consultations. If we take your case, then we’ll work on contingency; you’ll never have to worry about upfront expenses.
Life can hit you hard. Hit back harder by getting in touch with an Ellis Injury Law scooter accident lawyer today. Someone from our office is available 24/7 for your convenience.