As the electric scooter business grows, so too does the number of electric scooter accidents. With accidents and crashes rising to over 1,500 incidents per year, many users want answers. That’s why we’ve compiled three of the most common causes of electric scooter accidents.
Many scooter riders falsely assume that because scooters are smaller and slower, it’s safe to look at their phones. These riders should remember that they aren’t alone on the road. There are pedestrians, other scooters, and intersections full of cars between the scooter driver and their destination.
Scooter riders that use their cellphones endanger themselves and any pedestrians around them. When scooter riders crash into something, they damage whatever or whoever they impact. Riders are not impervious to damage; many end up with head and neck injuries.
Many drivers don’t realize how small scooters are compared to a car or even a bike. Scooters cannot handle potholes, unexpected drops, or even hard bumps. Hitting a road hazard of any kind often causes a scooter operator to lose control and fall to the ground at 15 mph.
According to a study from the Trauma Surgery & Acute Care center, nearly 40% of electric scooter accidents are caused by someone driving under the influence.
Many assume that they are safe to drive a scooter while intoxicated. However, riding an electric scooter requires greater balance and coordination than riding a car. A drunk scooter driver will almost certainly lose their balance and likely crash into something.
Intoxicated scooter riders aren't the only problem though; drivers operating cars under the influence are also more likely to cause scooter accidents. A drunk driver could run a red light or simply fail to see a scooter sharing the road, resulting in a serious collision.
Another risky behavior that could result in electric scooter accidents is lane splitting. Lane splitting occurs when a scooter rider moves between two lanes of traffic, usually to get ahead of slower-moving vehicles.
While lane splitting may seem like a convenient way to avoid traffic, it can be very dangerous. Motorists are not used to sharing the road with electric scooters, and they may not expect a scooter rider to suddenly appear between their lanes. This can lead to collisions, especially in heavy traffic.
In addition, lane splitting puts the scooter rider in close proximity to other vehicles, increasing the risk of being hit by an opening car door, debris, or other hazards.
Dangerous Left-Hand Turns
Another cause of electric scooter accidents is dangerous left-hand turns by cars. When a driver is turning left, they often have to cross a lane going in the opposite direction, putting them directly in the path of oncoming traffic.
Unfortunately, scooter riders can be overlooked when a driver is making a left-hand turn. Scooters can be difficult to spot and drivers may not see them until it's too late. This can result in a collision. These types of accidents are especially plausible at night, because the small headlights on scooters may appear farther away than they actually are to drivers.
Electric Scooter Malfunctions
Electric scooter companies have thousands of scooters in use in cities all across the United States. Unfortunately, these companies are not always explicit about the rules and regulations regarding these devices, which can lead to users overlooking basic safety measures when operating the scooters. It's also important for electric scooter companies to take responsibility for ensuring their scooters are regularly maintained and inspected to prevent accidents caused by malfunctions.
Common malfunctions with an electric scooter that can lead to an accident include faulty brakes, damaged handlebars, flat tires, and electronic motor issues. If a rider encounters any of these malfunctions while riding, they may lose control of the scooter and crash.
What to Do If You've Been Hurt while Riding an Electric Scooter
Unfortunately, accidents happen even when scooter riders take the right precautions. If you or someone you know has been injured in an electric scooter accident, it is important to speak with an experienced attorney who can help you navigate the legal system and get the compensation you deserve. Our team at Levin & Nalbandyan is here to help. Contact us today for a free consultation.