Picture Copyright Belongs to The Atlantic
By now, if you live in the greater Salt Lake metropolis, you should have seen the new electric scooters zipping around downtown. Two companies, Bird and Lime, recently started providing individuals in larger cities an opportunity to get around with a little more convenience than walking—electric push-scooters—and as of late June this year, the scooters have started popping up along the sidewalks of Salt Lake. Since their inception, thousands of residents and visitors alike have taken advantage of the cheap, easy and fun form of transportation, while others have noticed the danger of these specific share-economy companies’ scooters.
The scooters bring the city and state offices a divisive topic that will need to be addressed. Why? Because, like a lot of things without proper regulation or supervision, no matter how fun, danger lurks around the corner just waiting for someone to get hurt. At Robert J. DeBry and Associates, personal injury lawyers are usually contacted when someone has acted reckless, there is a lack in maintenance, or a company has put out a faulty product, and these new scooters bring potential cases that could involve one (or more) of these three occurrences.
By far the biggest problem that these scooters are seeing in downtown areas are riders traveling dangerously around others. Issues such as crowded walkways, riders traveling at speeds that exceed their reaction abilities, and blind corners all put riders and bystanders at risk. When a collision occurs, similar to a car accident, there is someone at fault and it should be addressed—the tricky thing is, there are fewer regulations compared to accidents on the road. In order to avoid calling a personal injury lawyer, riders must understand that they are responsible to drive safely just as a driver on the road would.
While pushing scooters around is something kids have no problem with, it may feel unfamiliar for adults and young adults alike, especially at speeds up to 15 MPH. Nonetheless, riding one of these e-scooters should not be much harder than walking, but when users are driving recklessly, there is further danger when there are unseen cracks or bumps on the roads and sidewalks that are not immediately recognized fast enough by the user. Just like a slip and fall case, the user might try to find fault with the city’s sidewalk and road maintenance and hire a personal injury lawyer. This alone may push governing forces to take action and address the situation. However, until resolutions are made, Salt Lake could temporarily ban the use of these scooters just like other cities have.
Bird and Lime are both newer companies, and with all new products, there will be newer versions and revisions that will improve any issues from before. The e-scooters seem to work without much difficulty, but even with proven products, a mishap can happen. If there is an electrical problem with an older scooter or a faulty brake, users may look to a personal injury lawyer if they are hurt by something out of their control.
Like jumping on a trampoline, skateboarding, snowboarding or skiing, boating, and four-wheeling, thrill comes with risk, and these new scooters are no different. While there may not be statistics yet, people are running into things, hitting others, and falling all over town. The results vary from minor injuries such as skinned elbows and knees to more severe injuries like broken wrists or concussions. If you are a rider, ride safely; if you are a bystander, be cautious; and if you are a driver, look twice.
If you are injured in an e-scooter accident and are in need of legal help, do not wait to speak with one of our personal injury lawyers at Robert J. DeBry and Associates for a free consultation.