Boom in Electric Scooters Leads to More Injuries, Fatalities

Electric scooters have become a popular new form of transportation in many cities across the country, with companies such as Bird, Lime, Jump, and others leaving dockless motorized scooters on city streets all over the U.S. While electric scooters are fun to ride and easy to use, they are also inherently dangerous.

The Associated Press reported on June 9, 2019, that there have been at least 11 deaths connected to electric scooters since 2018. More than 100 cities now have motorized scooters, according to the AP, and Oklahoma City is part of the pack. The Oklahoman reported on December 19, 2018, that the Oklahoma City Council has adopted regulations for dockless electric scooters to try to prevent the problems that other cities have seen.

What Injuries Can Be Caused When Riding an Electric Scooter?

The AP detailed the story of one 26-year-old man who suffered two broken bones in each leg, a broken thighbone, a shattered kneecap, a punctured lung, and three fractured vertebrae in his neck, as well as a head injury after his scooter was struck by a car traveling 50 miles per hour. Collisions with motor vehicles have the potential to cause a wide variety of catastrophic or possibly fatal injuries.

Scooter accidents do not necessarily have to involve automobiles, as defective or improperly maintained scooters can also lead to injury. While riders are encouraged to wear helmets, many people do not and risk suffering serious head or brain injuries.

Does OKC Have Laws About Electric Scooters?

When scooters were first introduced in Oklahoma City, The Oklahoman reported that city police were quick to point out that scooters were illegal on sidewalks. The rules adopted by the city council allow Bird and Lime to each operate up to 250 scooters in the city and require them to pay $302 for an annual license plus a $30 annual fee for each scooter in their fleet.

Bird and Lime must respond quickly to complaints of scooters left on private property or in the right of way as the city will charge a $100 fee per hour for city staff time to pick them up.

Bird and Lime scooters can both be rented using each company’s respective mobile app, and you must be 18 years of age to ride.

What Precautions Can One Take While Riding?

Scooter companies claim that their apps encourage riders to wear helmets, but they do little to nothing to ensure that people have access to them or wear them when riding. Still, wearing protective headgear often goes a long way toward protecting you from a traumatic brain injury if you’re involved in a collision with a vehicle or another type of crash.

Riders should make sure to familiarize themselves with the correct operation of the vehicle before riding in high-traffic areas. Practice on a quiet street or an empty parking lot to make sure that you know how to balance, turn, accelerate, and brake before going on a ride.

Operators need to stay vigilant when riding alongside or near traffic. Be mindful of people entering or exiting vehicles on crowded streets to avoid possible “dooring” accidents. Never operate a scooter while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and always obey the rules of the road as if you were in a regular vehicle.

Contact an Oklahoma City Dockless Scooter Attorney

Were you hurt in a dockless scooter crash that was caused by someone else’s negligence?  You could be owed significant compensation for your medical bills, lost income, and other damages. Make sure you have an experienced Oklahoma City personal injury attorney who knows how to handle scooter accident claims.

The Cain Law Office has been serving residents and visitors to Oklahoma since 1995. Our attorneys are ready to fight for the rights of those who have been hurt in dockless scooter accidents. We will review the details of your case and discuss your legal options when you call (855) 759-6858 or contact us online to set up a free consultation.