The use of motorized scooters is on the increase as are injuries and trips to emergency rooms. While statistics are still hard to come by, the CDC plans to conduct its first study in Austin, Texas, to better establish the health risks the scooters pose.
Many cities now have ride-share programs that are run just like bike-shares. But some riders say that the motorized scooters are much more dangerous. One rider claims that it is not uncommon to hop on a scooter only to find that the brakes don’t work. There are reports of sticky accelerators and sudden motor failure – all of this after you have taken the bike out of its docking station and headed out.
One rider claims that she had put on her headphones and was planning to listen to a book that was on her play list. She headed out at dusk, and she says, with no helmet. She was riding along her small downtown park when suddenly, the motor on her scooter failed. The scooter fell, and so did she. She wound up in the emergency with minor cuts and bruises.
Riders have also been hit by cars and killed. All of this results in lawsuits. Perhaps the most high profile case to date is one that involves several manufacturers of these scooters in a class action suit. Nine plaintiffs accused the makers of indiscriminate deployment of the scooters in their city.
Some cities simply ban the scooters for safety and legal reasons. Others have become more conscientious about making rider and pedestrian safety a top priority. Critics of these companies say that the companies are merely giving the problems a lot of talk but little action.
Currently, if you live in or visit a city and want to ride a motorized scooter, it is recommended that you follow every safety precaution. If you have problems with a scooter, make sure to take photos and keep records, just as if you were in an automobile accident.
If you have legal questions, please consult our Online Legal Directory to find an attorney in your area.