The Risks of E-Scooter Accidents in the Bronx
Our New York City attorneys explain how electric scooters can be dangerous
Electric scooters (e-scooters) have made their mark on transportation in the Bronx in recent months, but like many new transportation technologies, they also carry significant accident risks.
A 2020 study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) found that e-scooter riders suffer significantly more injuries per mile traveled than cyclists. The study also found that e-scooter accidents happen in different circumstances than bicycle accidents: while bicycles are much more commonly hit by vehicles, scooter riders are more often injured due to cracks in the pavement, potholes, or collisions with infrastructure like signposts or curbs.
In part, this is because cyclists usually ride on the road, whereas e-scooters are often ridden on sidewalks, especially where bicycle lanes are not available — and even in places like New York where sidewalk riding is prohibited. The IIHS study found that of the e-scooter riders who were injured on the sidewalk, about a third were in places where the sidewalks were supposed to be off-limits.
Is it safe to ride an e-scooter?
The dangers of e-scooters appear to be tied to rider inexperience, especially since the standing position on a scooter leaves less room for error. "If you brake suddenly with a scooter, you will fly off it. If there’s a little hole in the road, you will fly off it," said one e-scooter rider interviewed by the IIHS.
That's why it's good to see that e-scooter company Lime is conducting safety training in the Bronx, as News12 reported. Lime's training includes both safer riding and responsible parking to keep scooter riders safer.
The IIHS study also found that helmets could mitigate many injuries, but helmets also present a logistical challenge: it's difficult for the e-scooter companies to distribute helmets, and e-scooter riders are unlikely to carry helmets around the city when they may or may not get on a scooter.
Motorists have a legal responsibility to share the road
Under New York law, e-scooter riders have just as much right to use the roads and bike lanes as anyone else. They are also vulnerable road users who lack the protection of an enclosed vehicle, so the injuries sustained in a crash can be severe. That's why motorists need to take responsibility for sharing the road. Drivers need to pay attention and avoid collisions with e-scooters and refrain from illegally parking in bicycle lanes, which may force riders to swerve into traffic.
When e-scooter riders are hurt in accidents due to the negligence of others, they have legal recourse. Giampa Law is proud to represent riders who are hurt by other road users as well as pedestrians injured in collisions with e-scooters. If you've been hurt, contact us today to schedule your free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney at our law firm. Our office is located in the Bronx right near Yankee Stadium and the Supreme Court of Bronx County.