DALLAS, Texas. There are many similarities between motorcycles and electric scooters. Electric scooters don’t have a chassis that protects riders in the event of a crash. Motorcycles also don’t have a protective chassis, meaning that riders are at a greater risk of serious head injury, broken bones, and spinal cord injury in the event of a crash. Both motorcycles and electric scooters are not self-propelled vehicles, which means that both vehicles have the potential to move faster than a bicycle or pedestrian. (Of course, motorcycles can move faster than the 15 miles per hour speed limit for electric scooters.) Both motorcycles and electric scooters share the road. Yet, despite these similarities, motorcyclists are required under the Texas Department of Public Safety to have a class M license. In order to get this license, riders must pass a motorcycle safety course. Electric scooter riders, as of yet, face no similar restrictions. Anyone can go up to a scooter dock, rent a scooter, and ride it.
Like motorcycles, electric scooters can be deadly. According to Texas Monthly, a man was found dead in Dallas after renting a scooter, in an apparent scooter accident. Yet, the details of the accident remain unclear. It isn’t clear whether the man was stuck by a vehicle while riding the scooter or if another cause led to his death. While there are no official deaths linked to electric scooters—just yet—there have been many reports of serious injuries. According to QZ, in the wake of several hospital reports indicating dozens of serious injuries involving electric scooters in Austin, the city has asked the Centers for Disease Control to investigate scooter accident risks. QZ reports that one local hospital in Austin had seen as many as 41 traumatic injuries, including head trauma, orthopedic injuries, facial injuries, and more. As cities learn more about the risks electric scooters pose to the population, more regulations may be put in place. Until then, many cities claim that they don’t have meaningful statistics on electric scooter risks.
What do we know? Injuries and accidents happen. When riders aren’t wearing helmets, there is an increased risk of serious injury, due to the risk of traumatic brain injury.
Critics of electric scooters claim that they share the road with other vehicles, but riders are not given much in the way of instruction. And, while they are encouraged to wear helmets, companies don’t provide them nor do they require them. In Dallas, the scooters launched with the assurance that the company would pick up scooters where they were left when citizens issue complaints. The business model for electric scooters works like this: riders can rent a scooter at one of the company’s docks located throughout the city. The rider can take the scooter to his or her destination, and leave the scooter there. The model has faced some criticism from local residents and businesses, claiming that scooters litter the sidewalks and pose a real hazard for residents and citizens with limited mobility.
Yet, some supporters of scooters believe that they have the capability to solve major city planning problems. Public transportation can’t serve every single block. Many residents face the prospect of having to walk one mile home after taking public transportation. A scooter ride could make that last ride fun and quicker.
Whenever new vehicles share the road, there is always a risk. While some accidents may have been the result of scooter rider carelessness, many accidents occur because drivers were distracted or were not sharing the road.
Like motorcycle accidents, scooter riders have rights. If you or a loved one has been hurt in a scooter or motorcycle accident in Dallas, Texas, consider speaking to the Lenahan Law Firm, a motorcycle accident lawyer. Our firm can review the details of your accident and help you understand your rights. You may be entitled to seek damages for your medical bills, rehabilitation expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering after these kinds of accidents. Contact the Lenahan Law Firm today to learn more.
 

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