From Miami and Fort Lauderdale to Orlando and Tampa Bay, their presence of dockless motorized scooters has taken Florida by storm. While some residents believe e-scooters are a fun, affordable, environmentally-friendly way to get around, those who oppose claim this mode of transportation is a dangerous hazard to motorists and pedestrians.
Common complaints include riders who disobey the laws or don’t wear safety helmets, riders under the influence, riding at fast speeds through sidewalks, children riding e-scooters, and multiple people riding one e-scooter. However, it appears they are here to stay.
In Miami, for example, the city commission approved a one-year e-scooter pilot program in the city’s district, including downtown, Coconut Grove, and Brickell neighborhoods in October 2018. Coral Gables was the first city in the state to establish a scooter-share program with the company Spin.
THE DANGERS OF E-SCOOTERS
Dockless motorized scooters can travel at speeds of up to 15 miles per hour. If a rider collides with a moving vehicle, an object, or even another person, it can result in severe or fatal injury.
The following are common risks which e-scooter riders face:
- Lack of visibility – Since e-scooters are small in size, they can be easily hidden from view by objects on the streets or sidewalks. Unfortunately, drivers are less likely to see them.
- Lack of protection – Similar to cyclists and motorcyclists, riders of e-scooters are not protected by a metal body and safety features (i.e. seat belts and airbags) just like motor vehicles. Furthermore, many do not wear safety helmets when riding e-scooters. In the event of a collision with a car, the e-scooter rider can suffer fatal injuries.
- Lack of stability – Due to the high center of gravity and small wheels of motorized scooters, they are quite unstable. For instance, if a rider goes over a speed bump, the rider could lose balance and crash. On the other hand, a bicycle can go over a speed bump without issue.
- Hazards on the road – The roadway can be littered with hazards such as potholes, debris, and uneven surfaces. If a rider makes contact or attempts to avoid these hazards, it can result in an accident.
- Risky behaviors – Since scooter riders are generally of the younger age group, they tend to have high-risk behaviors. Whether it’s riding on a road at high speeds without a helmet or riding one scooter with multiple people, these are recipes for disaster.
- Rider inexperience – Since e-scooters are relatively new in Florida and the rest of the country, most people have never ridden one before. Furthermore, riders do not need a special license to operate a scooter.
If you have been injured in an e-scooter accident, contact our Miami personal injury attorney at Schlacter Law and schedule a free consultation today.