While they haven’t been around long, electric scooters have caused mayhem to major cities around the country. Dozens of articles have come out on the injuries specifically caused by them ranging from road rash to concussions to brain bleeds and now including deaths. Some hospitals are even reporting up to 10 cases a day, but keep in mind that’s what’s reported. Police are saying it could be higher.
To start, there are three basic rules for electric scooters:
- You need a valid driver’s license.
- You must be 18 years or older.
- You must wear a helmet.
These are not only safety rules as stated by Bird, one of the leading electric scooter companies, but they’re also legal laws for many states. However, most of these rules are being ignored by the user, the cities that purchase them, and the companies that produce them.
For example, while a helmet is required they don’t come with the electric scooters. The user is expected to produce one, but the app is all about convenience. So if a group of people decide to take a ride after dinner, they’re not magically going to have a helmet with them as they didn’t plan to take the scooters in the first place. Which is what happened to Brandon Nelson who suffered a concussion when his Bird scooter hit a bump and sent him flying. Additionally, there is no age restriction for the Bird app. So technically a 13 year old could rent an electric scooter as some kids in California were doing to get to school on time. And this is just the beginning of the problems.
Just ask Athens county and the University of Georgia. This county is not fond of these electric scooters and recently placed a temporary ban on them. In fact, UGA alone impounded more than 1,200 scooters while Athens has generated over $800,000 in fines. (And yes, you can be fined for these scooters – up to $150.)
The problem lies in the fact that you can ride them to wherever thus leaving them wherever. Scooters are carelessly leaned against walls or laid on the floor which creates a safety hazards and, not to mention, clutter.
Probably the strangest example of this was when a Bird scooter was left leaning outside of LAX. Anywhere else it’d just be a scooter someone recklessly left behind, but at an airport it became a possible threat that required four police officers and the K-9 unit.
By now, you’ve probably noticed Bird scooters seem to be behind a lot of problems and injuries. And other people have started to notice to and they say it’s because of their marketing. In fact, 69% of Bird’s Instagram posts are of people using their scooters but only 6.2% of that are wearing helmets. The company states that their Instagram is “not the place for rider education” and that they’ve invested into safety programs. However, one of their safety programs which distributes free helmets only distributed 50k in 2018, while their competitor, Lime, distributed 250k. Even more alarming is earlier this month, Bird backed a new law in California that would eliminate the requirement for helmets all together.
These are all things to remember as Atlanta draws nearer to the Superbowl. With the influx of people, use of ride sharing apps will be at an all time high, and as Atlanta has chosen Bird for their electric scooter company, there are some things to be aware of:
- Since electric scooters are small, drivers are less likely to be aware of them which can lead to an accident.
- It’s possible to be hit by an electric scooter user while walking as they don’t have proper steering ability.
With all the distractions and out of town drivers expected during the Superbowl, the likelihood of accidents is expected to spike. If you are injured in an accident involving a scooter, through no fault of your own, give Atlanta Personal Injury Law Group a call at 404-436-1529 and we can schedule a free consultation about your options.
As one woman pointed out in a “Electric Scooters BIGGEST FAILS” video, your ride will probably only be $1.50-$4.00 but your medical bill could be thousands. Ride safe Atlanta.