Is an Electric Scooter Dangerous?
Electric scooters can be dangerous when the operator is unskilled or fails to take basic safety precautions. It’s important to follow established safety guidelines when using these convenient forms of transportation.
Cheap, convenient, and sometimes unsafe
Electric scooters, also known as “e-scooters,” are a common sight on today’s roads. They’re available both for sale and for rent in most major cities across the country.
E-scooters offer a lot of advantages over traditional automobiles, particularly in crowded urban environments. They use no gasoline, are cheaper to own and maintain, and take up very little space.
But e-scooters have their share of disadvantages as well. These include:
- Lack of a safety buffer: Unlike conventional cars and trucks, e- scooters lack important safeguards such as seatbelts, airbags, and crash avoidance systems. This greatly increases the risk of suffering serious injuries from an e-scooter accident.
- Inconsistent nationwide standards: The laws governing e-scooter use vary widely from one state to the next. This patchwork system of regulations creates troubling inconsistencies that can make serious accidents more likely.
- Carelessness or negligence on the part of e-scooter users: One study of electric scooter accidents revealed that few scooter operators were wearing a helmet at the time. Anecdotal evidence suggests that many e-scooter owners disregard traffic laws, fail to show basic courtesy towards other motorists, and engage in dangerous multitasking activities such as texting or eating while riding.
All of this is not to say that all e-scooter operators are negligent or irresponsible. On the contrary, most people who use scooters are conscientious and responsible. But, as the saying goes, it only takes one bad apple to spoil the entire bunch.
Ways to help yourself stay safe
One way to address this problem is to share basic safety tips that all e- scooter operators should follow. Here’s a partial list:
- Always wear a helmet: This step by itself could prevent most e- scooter injuries, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Be sure to choose a helmet that’s certified for scooter use.
- Ride solo: E-scooters are designed for individual use only. Never try to double up.
- Follow the fundamentals of safe vehicle operation: Keep an eye out for changing road conditions, obey all traffic rules, and signal your intention to turn ahead of time. Never tailgate motorists or weave in and out of traffic.
- Focus on operating the scooter rather than multitasking: Drinking beverages, consuming food, or fidgeting with a mobile device while operating an e-scooter is simply asking for an accident.
- Wear reflective clothing: This is important at all times, but especially during periods of reduced lighting such as dawn and dusk. Never ride an e-scooter at night or in the rain or snow.
- Ride sober: Just like automobile drivers, scooter operators should avoid any substances that may impair their awareness or reflexes. These include not only alcohol but illicit substances as well. If you take prescription or over-the-counter medications, then be aware of their effects on your body.
- Know your local rules: Some communities permit e-scooters on the sidewalk. Others limit their use to the street. A few areas have banned them altogether. Familiarize yourself with these regulations before taking to the road.
- If you rent an e-scooter, then follow common courtesy guidelines: This includes dropping the scooter off at an approved location after your trip. Abandoned scooters are often stolen or vandalized.
- If you own your scooter, then follow the recommended maintenance schedule: Every major scooter manufacturer provides a list of steps to keep the device in proper working order. You should follow these guidelines to the letter.
When it’s time to talk to a Los Angeles personal injury attorney
Perhaps you’ve suffered a serious injury due to an irresponsible e- scooter operator. Or maybe you’re an e-scooter user who has been hurt due to the negligence of another party.
In either case, talking to a qualified legal expert should be at the top of your to-do list. Quick action is essential to receiving the compensation you deserve.
The e-scooter attorneys here at Ellis Injury Law have recovered more than $350 million for their clients over the years. Get in touch with our office today to schedule your free consultation. Someone is available 24/7 for your convenience.
We look forward to hearing from you. In the meantime, stay safe.