The Hazards of Electric Scooters in Virginia
Electric scooters in Virginia are taking off. Rental services have sprung up in cities and on college campuses across America and the Commonwealth is no exception. Bird recently brought its scooters to Virginia Beach. It’s only a matter of time before they appear in other Hampton Roads cities.
Web-based electric scooters may be gaining in popularity but they are also picking up a grisly reputation.
Nine people who suffered injuries from electric scooters filed a lawsuit on Oct. 19 in Los Angeles Superior Court against Bird and Lime. It may be the tip of the iceberg.
Lime and Bird scooters have now clocked up more than 20 million trips. There has also been an uptick in emergency room visits from scooter accidents, although no official figures are kept.
To make matters worse, Lime pulled 2,000 scooters off the streets this week following reports of a defect that causes battery fires.
The first fatalities from electric scooters were reported in 2018. Three people died in September in Dallas, Cleveland, and Washington D.C.
The cause of Jacoby Stoneking’s death in Dallas is not clear. He was found lying in the road unresponsive. His Lime scooter was 160 yards away from him, broken in half. His relatives have called for answers.
The lawsuit in California coincides with a backlash against the scooter companies in some U.S. cities. Most of the litigants claim they were injured by scooters.
Two of the plaintiffs say they were hurt after tripping over scooters left discarded on the sidewalk. Four victims were rammed into from behind as they walked on the sidewalk. They include a 7-year-old boy who suffered severe damage to eight of his front teeth and had his lip stitched back together. The litigants claim the scooter companies are putting profit above safety.
While scooters are posing a menace on sidewalks, scooter riders are putting themselves in danger on the highways of cities such as Virginia Beach and Richmond.
Drivers are unfamiliar with the lightweight electric scooters and may fail to see them until it’s too late.
What Are the Potential Injuries Associated with Electric Scooters in Virginia?
In a recent CNN article, Ford Vox, a physician specializing in rehabilitation medicine, warned electric scooters are potentially hazardous for riders.
Vox claimed doctors are seeing a massive surge in people injured from scooters to their emergency rooms. Many of the injuries reported are broken bones and road rash. One of his clients suffered a severe head injury in a scooter accident in Atlanta.
An article in Bloomberg detailed the injuries suffered by Victor San Andres in New York. The online video producer was hurled over the handlebars of his scooter when the front brakes malfunctioned as he went down a hill. He hit the pavement, was knocked unconscious, and suffered serious lacerations to his face as well as a broken finger.
Which Cities Are Banning Electric Scooters?
Some cities have taken a tough stance against electric scooters. Milwaukee sued Bird. The city classified its scooters as unregistered motor vehicles that may not be legally operated. Miami banned scooters altogether.
In California, San Francisco and Santa Monica temporarily banned electric scooters. The cities filed criminal complaints against the companies behind them for operating without a business permit.
In the long term, we can expect to see many more lawsuits. The lawyers behind the first one say another 75 victims are ready to sue the electric scooter companies. The hazards of electric scooters in Virginia are likely to come into sharper focus in the coming months.
Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers helps many injured people whether from car, truck, motorcycle, or scooter accidents. Please call us today for a free consultation at (757) 455-0077.