Arizona Sees Spike in Scooter Accidents
They were big in the early 2000s, and now scooters are roaring back as a trendy and convenient mode of transportation. Cheap and easy to use, you can literally pick a black and green scooter off the streets of Arizona and zip away. But, there are a lot of safety issues involved with the devices, especially considering you have to provide your own helmet if you want one. Now, cities across the state are imposing regulations on dockless scooters and bikes as an attempt to curb injuries.
While there are no dockless scooters in Phoenix, there are a lot of scooters in Tempe to cater to the student population. The Tempe fire department says it responded to 119 scooter-related accidents in a six-month period. Most of the injuries were minor scrapes or bruises, while the more serious injuries included breaks and sprains. Some accidents involved falls, crashing the scooter, and even colliding with a pedestrian.
The average of 29 incidents a month is alarming to city officials, and the Tempe City Council is taking action. Their new scooter regulations include licensing fees, staging requirements, education on local and state laws to operating the scooters, and a limit to how many bikes and scooters can be in the city. The fire department is also including a new organizational system for scooter-related calls so they will be easier to track and gather data. However, the city council did not implement any safety regulations, to the criticism of some.
What are Some of the Risks of Dockless Scooters?
While there is inherent risk in operating any bike or scooter, there is also a risk to drivers and pedestrians. Some residents have reported people riding the wrong way down streets, riding at night without any flashing lights, and multiple people on one scooter. Right now, there are no laws or requirements to keep people from behaving recklessly on the scooters.
Scooter companies are trying to encourage safe behavior. In order to use a scooter from Bird, Lime, or Razor, you must be at least 18-years-old with a valid drivers license. You must also watch a safety video on the app before connecting to a scooter. The speed of some brands of scooters caps out at 15 mph and riders are not allowed on the sidewalks. Lime says it is dedicating $3 million to promoting safe riding education, and developing newer scooters that have sensors to detect when one is being used improperly.
How Personal Injury Lawyers can Help in a Scooter Accident
If you are involved in an accident with an electric or dockless scooter, who is at fault? Of course, it depends. Distracted scooter driving could lead to a crash, as could speeding down a hill. However, scooter mistreatment by other riders and varying maintenance practices from companies can perhaps make a scooter malfunction. The landscape is new and is being tackled through all types of lawsuits currently.
If you have been injured in a scooter crash, reach out to the attorneys at Wattel & York to learn about your options. We have experience in this area, and will assist you in obtaining compensation for any injuries or damage caused by the unsafe operation of scooters. If you were safely operating a scooter, and were nonetheless injured because the product was defective (or for some other reason), we may be able to assist you as well. Call 1-877-572-4143 or contact us online to get started on your free case review today.