The popular ridesharing service Lyft recently debuted its electronic scooters in Denver. This increases the city's population of shareable scooters to 1,050, with more on the way. As if the scooters were not enough, shareable electronic bikes will be available soon.
While these new transportation options have been welcomed by many, they have brought with them a new world of safety concerns that will need to be addressed.
A Surge In Serious Injuries
According to an article from The Washington Post, emergency room doctors in cities that have seen a recent influx of shareable electronic scooters have also seen an increase in serious injuries related to these vehicles. Doctors report everything from broken bones to serious and permanent brain injuries.
Riders of electronic scooters have little to no protection from the impact of a motor vehicle. Often, scooters are taken on a whim, and the riders do not have helmets or pads to protect them. Further, Denver and other cities are still adjusting to these new vehicles. Riders may not be clear on whether they should ride on sidewalks or streets, while drivers of motor vehicles may not know how to react around scooters.
Electronic scooters can move quickly, and the fact that they are being operated by inexperienced riders also puts pedestrians at risk of impact. Just like a scooter rider may suffer serious injuries if hit by a car, a pedestrian may suffer serious injuries if hit by an electronic scooter.
There are other issues as well. As an article from 5280 points out, scooter riders are tossing the scooters in random places when finished: on sidewalks, in front of doors and even in the Platte River, as shown in one photo that was shared on social media. This can create a tripping hazard for pedestrians who expect a clear path.
Clearly there are safety concerns that need to be addressed by the scooter companies and by the city. In the meantime, people hurt in scooter accidents that were caused by someone else's negligence may have the right to pursue compensation with the help of an experienced personal injury attorney.