Articles Posted in Scooter Accidents

Although most Mayland drunk driving accidents involve cars, trucks, and motorcycles, they can also occur in other contexts. For example, as the use of electric scooters and electric bikes continues to rise, reports of incidents involving alcohol are on the rise as well. Many people use these convenient modes of transportation to get around cities, but too often fail to use proper signals or wear a helmet. The lack of safety precautions and general rider inexperience raises concerns, particularly as e-scooter accidents involving alcohol use increase.

These days, electric scooters are increasingly being used throughout the U.S. Tourists and commuters use the scooters as a cheap way to get around, particularly in cities. Yet with this increased use, comes increased risks. A recent study found a rise in electric scooters accidents tied to alcohol. Many scooter riders also weren’t wearing helmets when they crashed.

The study investigated 103 incidents of people who were admitted to major trauma centers due to a scooter accident. About 42 percent of the people had moderate to severe injuries. Most injuries included fractures to the legs, ankles, forearms, collarbone, and shoulder blades. Half of those with fractures required surgery. There also were injuries to necks, kidneys, and spleens. Ninety-eight percent of people were not wearing helmets at the time of these incidents.

Over the past few years, most major cities across the country have seen at least one scooter share company pop up. As the popularity of electric scooters explodes across the United States, many have raised a concern that scooter shares present an unjustifiable risk, both to those renting the scooters as well as other motorists and pedestrians. Indeed, since the inception of scooter shares in Baltimore and Washington, D.C., there have been dozens of serious Maryland scooter accidents.

An electric scooter is a relatively simple machine, consisting primarily of a motor attached to a frame that is powered by an electric battery. Electric scooters have throttle and brake mechanisms, similar to motorcycles, that allow users to control the speed of the scooter. A series of wires connects the motor to either the front or rear wheel of the scooter, providing the power that spins the wheel. Most electric scooters top out at around 20 miles per hour; however, most manufacturers recommend users do not travel over 15 miles per hour.

While scooters are not difficult to ride, there is a bit of a learning curve, especially for those who are not familiar with riding a motorcycle. Scooter share companies do not require users to exhibit any sort of riding proficiency to rent a scooter. Given the prevalence, low-cost, and ease of scooter shares, many users who are unfamiliar with how to ride a scooter end up putting themselves and others at risk when taking the scooters on the road or sidewalk.

Over the past fifteen years, bike shares have exploded in popularity, with nearly 100,000 bikes in operation at the end of 2017. In the wake of the success enjoyed by bike shares, companies started opening up scooter shares, which takes the concept of the bike share to a new level. Scooter shares enable commuters to pick up an electric scooter at any number of docks across the city and return the scooter to whichever dock is most convenient for them. Currently, Baltimore and Washington, D.C. each have scooter share programs.

Despite the popularity of scooter shares among users, there is also widespread concern that scooter shares are placing potentially dangerous vehicles in the hands of inexperienced riders. Indeed, in the wake of dozens of recent reports detailing scooter accidents resulting in serious injury or death, Washington, D.C. lawmakers are considering banning scooter shares, or at least strictly regulating them.

One recent accident involved two people who suffered serious injuries after allegedly running a red light. According to a local news report, a man and woman were riding on the same scooter when the driver ran a red light and crashed into an SUV. The SUV, having a green signal, had the right-of-way. Both people on the scooter suffered serious injuries, but are expected to recover. The city’s police chief noted that, while there did not appear to be a law against two riders sharing a scooter, it would seem to be an obvious safety issue. He also reminded riders that electric scooters are not toys and are potentially dangerous vehicles that must follow the posted traffic rules at all times.

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.

Over the past couple of years, scooter-share companies have popped up in cities across the United States. A scooter-share is based on the popular dockless bike-share concept, in which someone can rent a bicycle for an hourly fee and then click a button on their phone when they are done using the scooter. Part of the appeal is that renters can locate a scooter on their phone through a GPS device that is installed on the scooter. This also allows users to leave the scooter anywhere they want.

While scooters are not particularly difficult to ride, there is certainly the potential for danger in allowing a large number of scooters to share the already crowded roads in Baltimore. Of course, scooter use is regulated, and riders are subject to a 15 mph speed limit on roads with a speed limit under 30 mph. On larger roads with a higher speed limit, scooters are permitted to drive on the sidewalk, but must travel below six mph. This also raises the concern of scooter-pedestrian accidents.

Not surprisingly, since the inception of the scooter-share program in Baltimore, there has been an increase in the number of Maryland scooter accidents. According to a recent news report, Baltimore lawmakers have had enough of these scooter accidents, many of which have been linked to uninitiated operators traveling at unsafe speeds.

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Maryland accident victims can face substantial medical expenses, as well as other economic and non-economic challenges. Victims must show that a defendant acted negligently by acting or failing to act in a certain way. A plaintiff has to prove the following elements to establish a negligence claim: the defendant had a legal duty to use due care toward the plaintiff; the defendant failed to meet that duty; the plaintiff suffered damages, and the defendant’s failure to meet the duty caused the plaintiff’s injuries.

The driver of a motor vehicle has a duty to exercise reasonable care under the circumstances. Every driver must use the degree of care that a person of ordinary prudence would exercise under similar circumstances. The care expected under the circumstances can vary depending on the type of the vehicle, weather conditions, and the time of day. A driver also must exercise reasonable care when presented with an emergency. Examples of negligent conduct are failing to yield at an intersection, failing to pay attention to the road, speeding, and tailgating.

Scooter Accident Reports Rising as Electric Scooter Rentals Increase

According to one news source, rental scooter accidents are becoming more common throughout the country. In Dallas earlier this year, the city passed regulations allowing bike share companies to rent motorized scooters to customers in a six-month pilot program. The scooters can travel up to 15 mph. The scooter share companies rolled out hundreds of scooters soon after the regulations were passed. Dallas estimates there are about 6,000 e-scooters in the city now.

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Not long ago, this blog discussed the growing popularity of scooter-share companies across major U.S. cities. A scooter-share is a city-wide system where customers can rent motorized scooters on a short-term basis, and drop the scooters off at any of the scooter stations across the city.

The scooter-share companies experienced some significant pushback when expanding into new cities based on the fear that the presence of a scooter-share would result in roadways and sidewalks being more crowded with inexperienced riders. Notwithstanding these concerns, Dallas, Texas recently approved a scooter-share program proposed by the company, Lime.

Unfortunately, Dallas just recently suffered its first fatal accident involving the scooter-share program. According to a recent news report, the scooter’s rider was killed in what at this point seems to have been an accident of unknown cause. An incident of this nature is relevant to Maryland scooter accident victims as scooter-shares become increasingly popular throughout the nation.

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Over the past decade or so, car-shares and bike-shares have greatly increased in popularity. A car-share or bike-share allows for customers to rent a vehicle for a short period of time, typically for a commute to work, to the grocery store, or anywhere else someone may need to go. These vehicle-shares provide a good alternative to those who do not need to use a vehicle every day.

According to a recent news article, motorized scooter-shares are now also becoming more popular. However, some are concerned that as scooter-shares increase in popularity, there will be a corresponding increase in the number of scooter accidents.

Evidently, Dallas, Texas passed a series of laws allowing for scooter-share businesses to operate within city limits. The electric scooters that will be available to rent will be able to travel up to 15 miles after the user pays a small fee. Additionally, the scooters will be only able to travel up to 35 miles per hours. The scooters will also be routinely inspected to ensure that they are safe for users.

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Motor scooters are a good alternative for many commuters, especially those who do not need to take the highway to get to work. Motor scooters are more fuel-efficient than most motorcycles, and because they are not capable of traveling at fast speeds, they are also generally seen as a safer alternative. However, Maryland scooter accidents are still a serious risk for those who choose to commute by scooter.

Earlier this month, actor George Clooney was injured in a motor scooter accident on the Italian island of Sardinia. According to a recent news report, Clooney was in Sardinia filming a new adaptation of the 1953 novel by Joseph Heller, Catch-22.

Evidently, Clooney was riding on the scooter alone when the driver of a Mercedes failed to yield the right-of-way and collided with the scooter. The responding police officer told reporters that after the initial collision, Clooney slammed into the windshield of the Mercedes. Pictures taken after the accident show Clooney’s scooter lying on the pavement, as well as the Mercedes’ broken windshield.

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Riding a motorcycle on Maryland roads always presents some level of risk. However, that risk is heightened when traveling in a parking lot. While Maryland parking lot accidents are not normally serious when they involve cars or trucks, when the vehicle involved is a motorcycle or scooter, the chance of the accident resulting in serious injuries or death is greatly increased.

It’s common knowledge that, in general, motorists have a difficult time seeing motorcyclists while on the road, due to their slim profile. In a parking lot setting, however, the risks of not being seen are even greater, due to the number of other cars and trucks that could potentially obscure a motorist’s view. Additionally, motorists too often speed or drive aggressively through parking lots, not realizing the dangers that such conduct creates for those around them.

Scooter Operator Killed in Parking Lot Accident

Earlier this month, a 73-year-old woman was struck by another vehicle while riding an electric scooter in a suburban parking lot. According to a local news source covering the accident, the collision took place in the morning hours.

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