Electric scooters are popping up in major cities across the United States, including Austin, Dallas, and San Antonio. While they may not have made their way into Houston, may soon allow e-scooter companies to be established within city limits.
San Antonio officials recently placed restrictions on the use of e-scooters. Companies are now prohibited from allowing the use of e-scooters between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. and will impound any found obstructing sidewalks.
Companies such as Bird, Skip, and Lime allow users to rent e-scooters for only $1 to start and then pennies per minute. While these emerging gadgets offer a convenient way for commuters to get around, they come with a slew of risks that could result in serious injuries.
One rider reportedly died in Dallas last year in an e-scooter accident, according to Texas Monthly. Nobody knows exactly what caused the accident, but the rider was found dead at the scene of the crash by a Lyft driver.
First study exclusive to e-scooter accidents
Currently, there isn’t a lot of data regarding the rate of injury and death in e-scooter accidents. The first-ever study conducted by the University of California, Los Angeles has compiled data from two Southern California emergency departments from September 1, 2017 to August 31, 2018.
Out of 249 people involved in e-scooter accidents that required medical attention, roughly one-third of them were taken to the hospital in an ambulance. Approximately 228 people (91.6%) were injured while riding scooters and 21 (8.4%) were injured in accidents with riders.
The most common injuries included:
- Bone fractures – 40%
- Head injuries – 31.7%
- Cuts, sprains, and bruises – 27.7%
Most e-scooter accidents that resulted in injuries included:
- Falls – 80.2%
- Collisions with objects – 11%
- Being struck by vehicles or objects – 8.8%
The study also found that a meager 4.4 percent of riders involved in accidents were wearing helmets, which is recommended by most e-scooter companies.
Finding liability in an e-scooter accident
E-scooters pose a serious risk to riders and pedestrians due to debris in the roadway and sidewalks, potholes, uneven surfaces, rider inattentiveness, risky riding habits, collisions with automobiles, and scooter defects.
Generally, there are two parties that can be held accountable in an e-scooter accident:
- The rider of the scooter: A rider’s careless actions can result in injury to pedestrians, bicyclists, other e-scooter riders, and other road users who may be affected.
- An automobile driver: Like pedestrians and bicyclists, e-scooter riders are at risk of being seriously injured by moving vehicles. This is because drivers often don’t see or pay attention to non-vehicle road users.
- E-scooter company: The company or manufacturer of a defective e-scooter can be held liable in the event of an accident caused by a loose wheel, faulty brakes, or malfunction in steering.
No matter what caused your e-scooter accident, it’s best to consult with an experienced Houston pedestrian accident attorney who can help you explore all legal options available to you. Contact Tracey & Fox today for your free case evaluation.