As E-scooters continue to grow in popularity across the country, more and more cities are embracing scooter-shares. Currently, both Washington, D.C. and Baltimore have scooter share programs. A scooter share operates on the same model as bike shares, and allows for users to rent scooters at various docks around the city on a short-term basis and then return the scooters to any other dock. Scooter shares are popular among commuters who do not own a car and have a long commute that may not be comfortable on a bicycle.
Scooter shares, however, present some concerning problems. According to a recent news report, rider irresponsibility combined with poor regulations and lax oversight has created a dangerous situation in which both those who operate the scooters, as well as other motorists, are at risk. Indeed, according to a recent report by the Center for Disease Control (CDC), there are approximately 20 injuries per 100,000 scooter trips, which is a remarkably high number. Even more startling is the fact that over half of those injuries are serious head injuries. Below are a few interesting statistics regarding e-scooter accidents:
- In Austin, Texas, there were 193 emergency-room visits due to scooter accidents in the three months following the opening of a scooter share.
- In Los Angeles, California, only 4.4 percent of riders who were hospitalized after being involved in a scooter accident were wearing a helmet.
- In Portland, Oregon, five percent of all hospitalizations due to motor vehicle accidents were the result of scooter accidents.
- Nationwide, there have been eight deaths attributed to e-scooter accidents.
One of the issues cities with scooter share programs face is how to regulate riders. For example, the determination of where to allow scooter operators to ride is a crucial decision. Some cities that do not have bike lanes allow riders to drive scooters on the sidewalk; however, this presents a serious risk to pedestrians. At the same time, requiring scooters drive on the road’s edge puts them right alongside fast-moving cars and trucks.
At this point, most scooter share users are unfamiliar with how to ride an e-scooter, and are learning how to ride them for the first time on the road. Having inexperienced riders on the road presents clear safety issues. However, some experts note that operating an e-scooter is not difficult, and are optimistic that once most of the population overcomes the learning curve, they will be able to use e-scooters more safely.
Have You Been Injured in a Maryland Scooter Accident?
If you or a loved one has recently been injured in a Maryland scooter accident, you may be entitled to financial compensation for your injuries. At the Maryland law firm, Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC, we represent accident victims in all types of personal injury cases, including Maryland scooter accidents. We also represent clients who have been injured in accidents occurring in Virginia and Washington, D.C. To learn more about how we can help you pursue a claim for compensation, contact us at 410-654-3600 or complete our online form, and someone will reach out to you.