The concept of bike-shares has exploded across the country, with most large cities having a bike-share program. Bike-shares are generally seen as a good alternative to public transportation because they allow riders to rent bikes from one of many locations across the city and return the bike to any location near the rider’s destination. Some cities, including Washington, D.C. have gone a step beyond the traditional bike-share concept, and have implemented electronic bike-shares.
Not surprisingly, some critics of the electric bike-share concept argue that bike-shares increase the number of Washington, D.C. traffic accidents. These concerns are based mostly on the fear that electric bike-shares allow inexperienced users to operate machines that, when misused, could very easily result in serious injury to the rider, as well as to pedestrians and other motorists. However, as a recent article indicates, there is also the concern that the electric bikes themselves pose a danger to riders.
According to a recent news report, the company Motivate, which is a subsidiary of the popular ride share company, Lyft, has recalled approximately 15% of its electric bikes. A spokesperson for the company explained that the recall was based on reports that riders who tapped the brakes experienced a stronger-than-anticipated force, causing riders to fall. In some cases, riders were sent over the handlebars of the bike. Interestingly, the manufacturer of the brakes has released a statement indicating that the problem was not with the braking components, raising the question that the problem may have to do with how the brakes were installed on the bikes.
Motivate operates Washington, D.C.’s electric bike-share program, called Capital Bikeshare. It remains to be seen exactly how many units will be affected by the recall; however, the company claims that traditional pedal-bikes will be replacing the recalled units until the appropriate repairs can be completed.
Uber, another ride share company, also operates an electric bike-share in the Washington, D.C. area under the name JUMP. Apparently, both Motivate and JUMP use the same braking components, however, JUMP adjusted the brakes on their fleet of electric bikes last year, working to smooth the braking response. An Uber spokesperson confirmed that the company is moving to a new design of the electric bike, but that it will still be a few months until bike-shares across the country receive the updated units.
Have You Been Injured in a Washington, D.C. Bicycle Accident?
If you or a loved one has recently been injured in a Washington, D.C. bicycle accident, you may be entitled to monetary compensation through a Washington, D.C. personal injury lawsuit. Depending on the nature of the accident, there may be multiple parties that can be held responsible for your injuries. At the Washington, D.C. personal injury law firm of Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC, we represent accident victims in personal injury lawsuits across the District of Columbia, as well as in Maryland and Virginia. We handle all types of personal injury claims, including bicycle accidents, other traffic accidents, and product liability cases. To learn more, call 410-654-3600 to schedule a free consultation today.