In a first-of-its-kind study, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is looking into the health and safety risks posed by dockless electric scooters, which have become increasingly popular in Southern California’s beach cities and at tourist destinations around the country. These motorized scooters have soared in popularity especially because of their convenience, taking riders around crowded cities.
Study to Examine Scooter Injuries
But critics claim that riders endanger pedestrians by driving these scooters on sidewalks and by ignoring traffic rules. Emergency rooms nationwide have also reported a large number of scooter crash-related injuries. Most recently, a 29-year-old man suffered life-threatening injuries after crashing a rented scooter into a building in Pacific Beach, San Diego, early morning Dec. 10. Alcohol was a factor in this crash. The rider was not wearing a helmet and suffered critical head injuries.
Now, CDC is studying these machines to better understand their health and safety risks. The study will focus on EMS calls and emergency room data relating to scooter accidents reported over a 90-day period, from September through the end of November. CDC epidemiologists will review the data and interview people involved in the crashes to determine how those crashes occurred and offer preventive measures. This information could lead to a new set of city rules for scooter riders. The study’s results will be made public in the spring.
Injuries and Damages
Electric scooters manufactured by companies such as Bird and Lime are available to rent using smartphone apps. Scooters are a cheap and convenient way to get around in urban areas. But pedestrians have complained of scooter riders traveling at high rates of speed on sidewalks and walkways. There have been a number of reports of pedestrians suffering serious injuries as a result of being hit by these scooters. There have also been reports of scooter users dumping the vehicles on the street after use posing a trip-and-fall hazard to pedestrians.
In October, eight plaintiffs were part of a class-action lawsuit alleging that Bird and Lime scooters have contributed to injuries in many ways. They accuse users of dumping scooters on public streets without proper warning and that e-scooter companies have acted negligently in allowing their vehicles to become a public nuisance. Three of those plaintiffs said they were walking when scooter riders crashed into them and caused severe injuries.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an electric scooter accident, an experienced California personal injury lawyer who handles similar cases can help you seek and obtain compensation for damages such as medical expenses, lost income, hospitalization, cost of rehabilitation and pain, and suffering.