Electric scooter crashes on the rise as new legislation stalls

On Behalf of | Sep 27, 2019 | Firm News |

Data released by the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles reveals that there are now more e-scooter crashes than there are accidents involving trucks and cars. Throughout Charlotte and Raleigh, about three dozen individuals sustained injuries from electric scooter accidents during a period of 16 months. This includes successfully averted near-collisions with pedestrians and vehicles.

According to the Charlotte Observer, city officials are struggling to determine how to regulate e-scooters, which appear to have taken over the streets and sidewalks seemingly overnight. While officials attempt to come up with a comprehensive plan for regulating the use of electric scooters through rental apps, the number of scooter riders continues to increase. Charlotte first allowed the two-wheeled devices in 2018, and riders have since covered more than 1.4 million miles in trips within the city. There were, however, 28 accidents reported for each one million miles of streets and roads traveled.

No rules to regulate e-scooter riding

Laws that regulate how e-scooter riders may operate on Charlotte’s public roads and streets are currently nonexistent. Scooters move at about 15 mph, but collisions may nonetheless result in serious injuries to the rider, other pedestrians or private property. Three reported accidents revealed that scooters caused “incapacitating” injuries.

Without a code of enforcement, scooter operators have the ability to ride as they wish and might not incur any liability for the injuries they may cause. In response to data showing numerous crashes involving scooters, state legislators are attempting to include them as a class of vehicles regulated under the Tar Heel State’s existing motor vehicle laws.

Pursuing legal action for scooter fatalities or injuries

Consumer Reports magazine revealed that it confirmed eight fatalities from an e-scooter rental since the autumn of 2017. In addition, at least 1,500 riders reported that they suffered an injury. Holding a party responsible, however, may prove difficult when injuries resulted from the rider’s own misuse of the scooter. When an e-scooter’s design or manufacture results in a defect or safety issue, there may be a much greater possibility of holding its producer liable for an injury or death.