Well-built electric scooters with essential safety features are a fun way to get around towns throughout North Carolina. They are less expensive than other motorized vehicles and offer the same freedom as a bicycle but may increase the likelihood that you suffer injuries in an accident.
According to Consumer Reports, more than 50,000 ER visits between 2017 and 2019 were due to electric scooter injuries. There are several reasons that you are more likely to be in an accident involving an e-scooter than a bicycle.
Toy vs. vehicle
Made famous by the Razor brand in the early 2000s e-scooters, are often viewed as a toy. The electric scooters you saw gliding down the hallway or on the sidewalk are now on the road due to design enhancements. Today’s models have many of the same components as a motorcycle, including foot brakes, suspension system to offset the bumps and tires that provide a stable, comfortable ride. Thinking of an object that used to be a toy as a commuting vehicle often leads to unsafe riding behavior.
E-scooter tires typically measure six to eight inches in diameter versus bicycle tires that average 25 inches. Small tires have difficulty handling obstacles compared with larger tires. Even a one-inch bump in the road can jolt the scooter, making it hard to control. A pothole can send you over the handles and through the air. The type of tire can also make a difference. If you have an airless tire, it may not handle slick conditions, such as a wet road or the lines painted on the bike lanes.
The “look but don’t see phenomenon” affects drivers, cyclists and pedestrians. They may not see an e-scooter rider, even if they look in your direction. If you had an e-scooter crash due to someone else’s negligence, you might have grounds for a claim.