Scooter safety continues to be an issue for many reasons. On the one hand, some of the vehicles are unsafe, on the other hand, regulations are lax. This combination of factors has just cost a Washington D.C. rider his life.
The victim, who was riding a rental Lime scooter, was trapped under an SUV after a crash. Although first responders were able to rescue him from under the vehicle, the injuries he suffered were deadly.
As scooters become increasingly popular all over the U.S., this is the second fatality involving an electric scooter in a month.
A Tweet by DC firemen described the most recent accident thus, “#DCsBravest have extricated an adult male who was trapped underneath a vehicle at DuPont Circle NW. victim transported with critical life-threatening injuries.”
According to an eyewitness who claimed she saw, “the scooter, a headphone and one brown shoe” at the scene of the accident, it was “beyond a simple injury,” and people must be, “extra careful on scooters, helmets must be mandatory.”
Lime said in a press release that the company was “deeply saddened” and their “thoughts and sympathies,” were with the victim’s family.
According to estimates, there are over 65,000 electric scooters on U.S. streets today, and they have caused a surge in accidents as reported by emergency room doctors.
A spokesperson for the Department of Transportation told reporters that they are not tracking fatalities or injuries as yet because the abundance of electric scooters is a new phenomenon. This is unacceptable.
People are being injured and killed. Rental e-scooters are changing traffic in urban areas, and we cannot wait until there are more fatalities to implement regulations and controls.
Lime’s bright green scooters are not the only ones on our streets. Several companies are offering similar rental services. LA-based Bird is among the most popular, boasting over 10 million rides.
Because e-scooters are deemed unsafe when circulating on sidewalks, they are commonly found on city streets. While some companies have offered to help fund special lanes, as of today, most e-scooters are used on roads where they pose a substantial danger to the rider.
John Uustal is a Ft. Lauderdale trial lawyer with a national law practice focused on serious injuries resulting from dangerous and poorly designed products. His upcoming book Corporate Serial Killers focuses on companies that choose profits over safety.