Cities all across Massachusetts and Rhode Island are beginning to see more and more electric scooters and electric pedal assisted bicycles (e-bikes) popping up on their sidewalks and streets. Last year Providence’s Mayor Jorge Elorza oversaw the introduction of ride-share company Uber‘s electric bike-share program called JUMP Bikes, quickly followed by the appearance of rentable electric scooters by the companies Lime and Bird. While achieving the goal of creating more affordable transportation options in the city, the incidents of misuse and rising auto-bicycle accidents may be a deterrent for other cities like New Bedford, Taunton and Fall River from pursuing similar programs.
Distracted Driving And Electric Scooter Accidents
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently launched the first-ever study of electric scooter accidents. The results of the two month study showed that electric scooter riders were injured on 20 of 100,000 trips. Of those injured, nearly half sustained head injuries, with 15% experiencing traumatic brain injuries. The majority of the injured riders were not wearing a helmet.
While there are many Lime and Bird electric scooter and JUMP pedal-assist electric bicycle accident scenarios which can result in a personal injury claim (i.e. electric scooter injures pedestrian, e-bike injures another e-bike rider, etc.), the most dangerous scenario is when a distracted driver injures e-scooter / e-bike rider.
Much like in auto-bicycle accidents, the rider of one of these electric vehicles is vulnerable and a collision with a car almost certainly means severe and catastrophic injury and possibly accidental death. When a rider is thrown from their scooter or bicycle, they have no way to control how they land. This type of impact will likely result injuries like broken bones, concussion, traumatic brain injuries, spinal injuries, paralysis and even loss of limbs.
Lime, Bird and JUMP Bikes all have the rider sign an agreement stating that [the rider] assumes responsibility for injuries, protecting the rental companies from any injury claims. However, in the case that the operator of a motor vehicle hits the scooter/bicycle and is at fault, then the their auto insurance would be responsible for the rider’s injuries. An experienced auto-bicycle accident attorney can help you to determine who is liable for your injuries, medical bill and other damages (i.e. missed work, loss of pay, pain and suffering). Contact The Law Offices of Dussault & Zatir at +1-800-542-4LAW.
What Can We Do To Avoid These Accidents?
Though the increasing presence of these new types of transportation might seem like a nuisance to some, it is important that drivers of motor vehicles practice duty of care to all of those on the roads. Avoid distracted driving and always look twice and double check your rear-view mirrors before making a right turn. It could save a life.
It is equally important that people hopping on a Lime, Bird or JUMP vehicle practice their own duty of care to avoid electric scooter or bicycle accidents. Know the rules of the road and never treat these electric vehicles like a toy. Here are a few safety tips:
- Always wear a helmet
- Always yield to pedestrians
- Ride in the direction of traffic
- Make sure to stop at both red lights, and stop signs
- Always brake early and gradually
- Don’t ride too fast (especially in high traffic areas)
- Never ride any scooter or bicycle while under the influence of alcohol or recreational cannabis/THC
Injured In an Electric Scooter Or Bicycle Accident In Massachusetts Or Rhode Island?
If you or a family member have been left with injuries after an electric scooter or e-bike accident caused by the negligence of a distracted driver, please don’t hesitate to contact us to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney. Dussault & Zatir P.C. has lawyers on call at +1-800-542-4LAW to answer your personal injury questions. We have 30 years of experience handling such cases and have consistently achieved big, successful and fast results. We know what you are going through and what you need. With offices in New Bedford, Fall River and Taunton, Massachusetts, as well as an office in Providence, Rhode Island, if you’ve been injured, our lawyers are here to fight for you.
*The above is not to be considered as legal advice. Every case is different and the laws which apply may differ from state to state.