According to a Quartz analysis of global media reports, at least 29 people have died in e-scooter accidents since platforms like Bird and Lime took off in 2018. More people have died on electric scooters in Atlanta, Georgia than in any other city worldwide.
A study by the Journal of the American Medical Association noted there was a dramatic increase in injuries and hospitalizations associated with e-scooter use from 2017 to 2018. A joint study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated 20 rider injuries per 100,000 trips.
Of the 29 deaths, eight were connected with Lime, two with Bird, two with Grab, one with Voi, and one with Lyft. The rest involved privately owned e-scooters, or a company was not reported. A total of ten incidents took place in the United States, with four in Atlanta.
The majority of fatalities involved an e-scooter rider colliding with a vehicle. Most of the victims were male and riding a scooter; however, a handful of pedestrians were killed after being hit by an electric scooter.
Because the e-scooter industry is widely unregulated, it’s challenging to get a complete count of injuries and fatalities. There’s a possibility the actual death count is higher than 29, but there currently aren’t any good systems in place for tracking incidents.
When electric scooters first became popular, companies had a tendency to launch first and ask for permission later. As a result, neither the company nor the city was ready for the impact the vehicles would have. For example, Lime was forced to repeatedly pull scooters from services, once it was discovered batteries in some were likely to catch fire. In another situation, a manufacturing defect was discovered that caused the e-scooters’ baseboard to break apart while in use.
Many scooter companies maintain safety is their top priority. As such, companies have started focusing on building sturdier hardware and sustainable operations and implementing safety requirements. Unfortunately, that has yet to have an impact on the fatalities. While some scooter companies have recommended riders wear helmets, many in practice go without.
If you’ve been injured or have lost a loved one in an e-scooter accident, you may have grounds to file a claim against the person that caused the accident. Depending on the circumstances, the e-scooter company may also bear some of the responsibility. To learn more about your legal rights and options, schedule a case consultation with Rideshare Law Group today.