E-scooters have been on the rise since Lime and Bird first introduced them to select metropolitan areas in early 2017. Since then, the companies have expanded to areas such as New Orleans, Louisiana, and other companies, including Lyft and Uber, have been vying to join the ranks. Though helpful, findings from a Consumer Reports study suggest that e-scooters may be more dangerous than they are convenient.
According to the report, at least eight people in the United States have died while using the rentable scooters since 2017. A thorough investigation also revealed that approximately 1,500 people sustained injuries while using the e-scooters. CR gathered data from 100 hospitals in 47 different U.S. cities that allow this mode of transportation.
The deaths and injuries have prompted one of two actions: Some cities have begun to develop legislature to ban the scooters, while others have begun to develop and tighten regulations. For instance, after one 53-year old man in San Diego lost control of his scooter and died after crashing into a tree, the city discussed making helmets mandatory. When a five-year-old boy died after falling off a scooter, which he shared with his mom, in Tulsa, OK, cities raised the question of how old riders must be as well as how many riders should be allowed to ride on a single scooter.
The deaths and injuries have also prompted some cities to reconsider their road and sidewalk designs. According to many interested parties, roads and sidewalks are not yet conducive to the new mode of transportation.
Finally, lack of regulations and traffic laws leave riders confused. As many as one-third of scooter users are unaware of their rights and responsibilities as riders, a fact in and of itself that contributes to accidents.
This article is for informational purposes only. It should not be used as legal advice.