Electric scooters are taking over Wisconsin cities. They have increased in popularity across the nation due to their fast and affordable means of transportation. While they are incredibly fun, handy, and user-friendly, there are certain risks that a rider takes in using them. While riding an electric scooter you risk the chance of injuring yourself or others. An experienced personal injury attorney can guide you through the unfamiliar legal territory if you sustain an injury in a scooter accident.
What Are Electric Scooters?
Currently, there are 3 different scooter companies that have dropped their products in Wisconsin:
Their mobile app allows users to rent out electronic scooters. They charge a fee to start the scooter, then continue to charge a few cents per minute in use. The bikes can reach speeds of approximately 15mph. You can find all the brands in most major cities across the United States.
How Do They Work?
The given scooter brand offers an app that allows you to download and use it to view all the unused scooters available in your area, as they have GPS tracking. Once you find one, you can use the app to scan the code on the scooter and start your ride.
You enter your payment information into the app, and it will start charging immediately once you begin your ride. After you finish, you can easily end the ride on the app. It will stop charging you, and you can park the scooter safely on the sidewalk near your destination. Be sure to move them out of the way of common foot traffic as a courtesy. People can pick them up and charge them at their designated charging stations when they need to be charged. The companies then compensate the people who charge them. Afterwards, they place the scooters back out in the city making them ready for use once more.
Why Electric Scooters Can Be Dangerous?
Riders are taking potentially dangerous risks when using an electric scooter. Since these devices can travel up to 15 mph, an accident while riding one could result in serious injury or even death. Here are some common hazards that riders face when riding an electric scooter:
- The scooters are small
Riders are at risk because drivers on the road are less likely to spot them due to their small size. Also due to their size, they have small wheels and a short wheelbase. The rider could lose balance, fall off, or get thrown off the scooter due to a small bump in the road.
- The scooters have little to no safety features
Unlike cars, these scooters do not have any airbags, seat belts, or a surrounding body that could help to protect them upon impact if struck by another vehicle whether it be a car, motorcycle, bike, pedestrian, or other scooters on the road.
- The panic stop
These scooters can travel quite fast. If the rider breaks hard enough the rider may be thrown from the scooter, most likely resulting in injury.
- The question of where to ride them
Riders should use the scooters in the bike lanes of the road or on the side of the road in unmarked areas. However, due to the scooter’s lack of visibility, most riders feel safer riding on the sidewalks. Riding the scooters on the sidewalks is prohibited in Milwaukee. This puts pedestrians at risk of getting hit and causing a collision.
- Anyone is qualified to ride them
As long as you meet the age and license requirements for that given scooter brand, (see rules for riding e-scooters above) you are qualified to ride the electric scooter. This results in a lot of inexperienced riders on the road. This can mean operating under the influence, not following the traffic rules, or simply being reckless due to lack of knowledge on how these scooters work.
- Vandalized scooters.
Because the scooters are open to the public, anyone could tamper with them, causing them to be unsafe to ride. This could include impaired steering, cut brake lines, or broken wheels.
Our Electric Scooter Safety Tips
While following all the rules of the road, and the riding regulations of the scooters, we have a few other safety suggestions that you can follow to help ensure you have a fun and safe ride while on an electric scooter.
- Wear a helmet
- Avoid wearing headphones
- Use brakes when going downhill
- Use bike lanes
- Put away your cell phone
- Use hand turn signals
- Be on the watch for road obstructions
If the company fails to properly maintain or check an e-scooter for defects, leading to harm caused by the defect, they may hold responsible. There may also be instances in which the company is negligent in specific advertisements, provides false information to riders, or in any other way falsely portrays the scooter that causes harm to a rider.
If the driver of a vehicle causes a traffic accident that injures a rider, the injured rider can take legal action against the driver.
The peculiar business model that allows e-scooters to be left unattended on public sidewalks, bike paths, or other places where they may cause injuries to pedestrians, bicyclists, or others can also give rise to legal issues.
Who is at fault when it may be impossible to know who was responsible for leaving the scooter in that location?
All of these and more are reasons to contact an experienced personal injury attorney to help you navigate the complexities of this type of case.
The personal injury team at Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. is here to help you with your claim and get the compensation that you deserve. To discuss the details of your particular situation involving an electric scooter, Contact Us for a free consultation today.