According to a study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), approximately 40% of e-scooter riders are injured on their first ride.
The majority of those accidents occur on sidewalks. According to Jessica Cicchino, IIHS Vice President of Research and lead author of the study, “We didn’t see many e-scooter crashes with motor vehicles, and that may be a result of riders sticking mostly to the sidewalk—on the other hand, there are legitimate concerns that sidewalk riders could crash into pedestrians.”
Cities have seen an uptick in interest from commuters for e-scooters, as the COVID-19 pandemic has prompted the need for socially distanced modes of travel. Unfortunately, cities have struggled to incorporate the devices into their mobility ecosystem without implementing restrictions and outright bans.
In an effort to reduce the number of e-scooter-related accident, Washington’s D.C. Council gave final approval to a bill. The bill establishes new rules and restrictions on companies that rent out scooters and other shared electric mobility devices. The most notable provision in the bill include the following:
- Devices must be locked to racks or other objects while maintaining at least three feet of unobstructed walkway.
- Riders who are under the influence can be issued a $150 fine.
- Riders who are found to be tampering with the scooters can be issued a $125 fine.
- Companies must maintain a 24-hour hotline so riders can report complaints and access free virtual education classes on riding safety.
- Scooters are banned within 300 feet of elementary schools, middle schools, and senior wellness centers unless it is near a subway.
Washington, D.C. is the only city to take measures to restrict the usage of e-scooters. In fact, both Denver and San Antonio have banned scooters from pavements entirely in an effort to reduce the number of accidents and injuries occurring.
With how relatively new e-scooters still are to cities, it’s important for riders to understand their legal rights and options in the event of an accident. With many of the accidents we’ve already seen, the blame is often pushed off onto the e-scooter riders; however, this isn’t always the case.
If you’ve been injured in an e-scooter accident and believe another party is to blame, you can seek legal counsel from the Rideshare Law Group. We represent accident victims on a nationwide basis. Contact us today to learn more.