In addition to electric bikes, electric scooters are an added risk to pedestrians.
E-scooters are motorized scooters. Unlike the manual ones used by a child which is powered by the child pushing, the motorized scooter has an electric motor. E-scooters can reach a maximum speed of 15 mph which is similar to e-bikes in speed. Many riders do not understand that a fall or collision can be very serious while they zip along.
Although one can purchase an e-scooter, vehicle share companies have entered the market and have provided e-scooter rentals and shares. Such companies include Bird, Lime, Spin, and Lyft. Like Citi Bikes, renters are given no instructions and safety equipment, such as a helmet. A renter just rents the e-scooter and goes on his way.
Many of these rental companies permit the renter to leave the e-scooter in a safe place, and through a GPS in the scooter, the next renter can locate and pick-up the e-scooter. Under this arrangement, the e-scooter passes from one renter to another without any inspection or maintenance between uses.
More important, there is an open question as to liability and financial responsibility for an operator’s negligence, such as colliding with a pedestrian on the sidewalk. See “My Opinion” below discussing this issue.
E-scooters are the subject of a class action lawsuit against Bird and Lime and two manufacturers for indiscriminate and negligent deployment of fleets of dangerous scooters on the public without a regular inspection and maintenance procedure.
We recommend that parents and young adults use caution in renting e-scooters.
If you have been injured using an e-scooter, please call us.