The Risk of Electric Scooters to Pedestrians
When pedestrians are involved in vehicle accidents, catastrophic injuries are often the unfortunate result. Although electric scooters like Bird and Lime may look like fun, the truth is that these little vehicles pose similar risks of injury to pedestrians – perhaps even more so, due to the fact that in some cities, they can only legally operate on sidewalks.
Now that electric scooters have made it to Stillwater and Oklahoma City, what are the hazards they pose for pedestrians? How can you protect yourself and your family when you’re walking around town over the coming weekends? At Martin Jean & Jackson, our Oklahoma pedestrian accident attorneys have more than 100 years of collective experience representing our injured clients, and we can help if you’re injured after an encounter with a Bird or Lime scooter. First, though, we’ll provide some information about the risks these vehicles pose, and offer some tips to help keep yourself safe.
Electric Scooters and Pedestrians: A Deadly Combination
In the very short time since electric scooters became popular, they’ve already gained quite a reputation for causing havoc and injury. In Santa Monica and San Francisco, two of the very first cities to implement pilot programs for these vehicles, city councils eventually banned Bird and Lime electric scooters after dozens of violations of city policy, and multiple reported instances of pedestrians reporting to the ER with broken bones and head trauma. Even today, San Francisco has refused to allow Bird and Lime to operate in city limits again, showing preference for companies that have obeyed city rules.
So what are the main risks that electric scooters pose to pedestrians? Reaching speeds between 15 and 30 miles per hour, these small but powerful vehicles can cause serious injuries when they collide with unwary pedestrians on the sidewalk. While there’s limited available data on the numbers due to their recent rise in popularity, hoverboards caused more than 26,000 injures just to children in 2015 and 2016. And given that more than 6,000 pedestrians were killed by vehicles of all kinds in 2017 alone, it follows that these vehicles could bring a substantial risk of injury in their wake.
Some of the best ways to protect yourself from injury when walking around electric scooters can include:
- Pay attention to your surroundings. It can be tempting to focus on your phone screen when out in public. But when you’re visiting a city that has electric scooters, it’s critical that you and your party stay fully aware of your surroundings to avoid collisions.
- Don’t wear earbuds or headphones when walking. In a similar vein, wearing headphones while walking outside can be dangerous if a Bird or Lime happens to go whizzing by. Become familiar with the sounds in your environment – and leave the Air Pods at home.
- Obey traffic laws. Obeying traffic rules and only walking where permitted can help decrease your risk of colliding with an electric scooter (or any other vehicle, for that matter.)
- Call the police if you’re injured in an accident. If the worst happens and you become injured in a collision with a Bird or Lime scooter, make sure that you inform the authorities after you seek medical care. Getting the incident onto an official police report can greatly assist your case if you do ultimately decide to file a lawsuit.
- Get the names of everyone involved. As with car collisions, when an accident occurs you want to make sure to gather everyone’s name and information.
Ultimately, you may not be able to avoid a collision with a Bird or a Lime electric scooter, as it looks like these vehicles will be fixtures in Oklahoma City, Stillwater, and beyond for years to come. As this trend continues, however, it’s more critical than ever to hold people accountable for negligence and to receive the compensation that you need when injured.
If you need assistance with a claim against a Bird or Lime electric scooter driver in Oklahoma, our pedestrian accident attorneys at Martin Jean & Jackson can assist. We know how painful and stressful these injuries can be, and we’ll fight for your rights to a full recovery.
Do you need help with a claim against a Bird or Lime scooter rider in Stillwater, Tulsa, or beyond? Contact Martin Jean & Jackson at (580) 290-1006 for a free consultation.