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.