E-Scooters Raise Safety Concerns for Drivers and PedestriansNovember 14, 2018
During the past year, e-scooters have been popping up on city streets across the country. Like bikeshare programs, e-scooters are available to the public. Users download an application, locate a nearby e-scooter, unlock it, and take off. While they are becoming common sights in places like Milwaukee, Washington, D.C., and Portland, one thing you might not see quite as often are safety helmets.
The accessibility and ease of e-scooters may give riders a false sense of security. Riders tend to grab e-scooters on the spur of the moment, so they will not always have a helmet at the ready. This presents a real safety concern. While most cities have helmet laws and e-scooter companies require them, users do not seem to be getting the message.
Riders who fall off their e-scooters or collide with cars, objects, or other pedestrians risk lacerations, broken bones, and head, neck, and spine injuries. One California trauma surgeon has treated patients with e-scooter injuries that included broken bones, punctured lungs, and a shattered pelvis.
Helmet Safety and E-Scooters
One city is taking a closer look at e-scooter injuries to prevent them. The Vision Zero SF Injury Prevention Research Collaborative is working with San Francisco city officials to determine where e-scooter accidents are happening and the injuries they are causing. The data they gather will be used to determine if certain locations and brands of e-scooters are more dangerous and prone to accidents than others.
California is one city that has done away with helmet laws to encourage more residents to utilize e-scooters. In a city like San Francisco, e-scooters might be the solution for getting cars off the streets and thinning traffic congestion. Other cities are not quite as enthusiastic about the potential of e-scooters. Seattle, for example, is so concerned about e-scooter injuries that they are banning them altogether.
Another city that is both embracing the possibility of e-scooters while considering the safety of their riders is Portland. So far, the city has distributed around 500 free helmets to the public and is conducting an ongoing public education campaign to increase e-scooter safety awareness. Some e-scooter companies are doing their part too. Two major e-scooter manufacturers have already given out thousands of free helmets in cities where they operate and through mail-in programs, where helmets are shipped directly to users.
Another question to consider as more cities add e-scooters to their streets is if drivers are prepared to coexist with this new kind of traffic. Educating car, truck, and bus drivers about e-scooters should be part of every public awareness campaign designed to keep scooter users safe on city streets.
Baltimore Car Accident Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Protect Maryland’s Injured Victims
If you have been involved in a car accident with an e-scooter or another driver, we are here to help. We will work diligently to obtain the results our clients deserve. To discuss your situation and learn more about your legal options after an accident, schedule a free consultation with a Baltimore car accident lawyer at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton today. Call 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online to get started.
Our offices are located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie, and Towson, allowing us to represent car accident victims in Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Prince George’s County, Queen Anne’s County, Southern Maryland, and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.