Scooters can be a fun form of transportation, but they come with mixed reviews. Now, there are dockless scooters.
The idea behind dockless scooters -- or e-scooters -- is that anyone with a smart phone can download the app, locate a scooter and grab one for a ride for a fee. Unlike other rental services where you return the unit to a docking station, riders can leave dockless scooters anywhere, including in the middle of sidewalks.
Unfortunately, that's what many people do. Abandoned scooters have become tripping hazards, but that's not the only problem.
There have been an astounding number of serious personal injury claims and nuisance complaints against e-scooter companies. Bird and Lime, the two largest manufacturers of dockless scooters now face legal backlash.
How dangerous are scooters?
Bird and Lime claim that e-scooters are no more dangerous than riding bikes. However, the co-chair of the emergency department at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles disagrees. "You have a public that hasn't been aware of the inherent dangers in what they see as a fun recreational vehicle. They're no safer than any other motorized vehicles, and in some ways, are more dangerous than a bicycle."
Injuries commonly reported to emergency rooms include:
- Broken bones
- Torn ligaments
- Damaged teeth
- Brain injuries
There have already been calls to start collecting statistics as people try to determine just how dangerous the motorized scooters are. City and state governments will also have to consider adding regulations to keep children and adults alike safe.
Bird and Lime are facing rising numbers of lawsuits because of the injuries sustained by scooter riders. Courts may end up determining who is to blame.