If you have not noticed, our city streets and sidewalks have been invaded with travel options. The new phenomenon has hit the city streets around the nation and it’s called dockless-on-demand electric scooter rentals. These electric scooters are being called an innovative and environmentally friendly mode of transportation.
Furthermore, this mode of transportation has proven to be useful in cities highly congested with traffic. Three companies are vying for the markets in these cities, but as more scooters roll out on the streets, scooter accident injuries are sure to be on the rise.
Electric scooter rentals work much in the same way as the rent-a-bike programs do. Potential customers usee a smartphone app to unlock and rent a scooter, then lock and leave the scooter when they are done. The lock and leave policy is one area being frowned upon in many cities and one potential cause of concern when it comes to Oklahoma scooter accidents injuries. Three companies seem to be hitting the markets the hardest, which includes Bird, Lime, and Spin. While Lime and Spin also have bike share programs, Bird is strictly renting electric scooters.
A city ordinance pertaining to motorcycles and motor scooter equipment does state, however, that motor scooters be outfitted with equipment for street usage that the Bird devices do not have, such as mirrors.
Another ordinance prohibits anyone under 18 operating or riding a motor scooter without a helmet.
Those found in violation could be subject to a citation and a fine.
An official with the Oklahoma City Municipal Court said fines for the offenses are $172, which include all court costs and state-mandated fees.
Tulsa: In most of the city, the scooters can be used on the street, on the sidewalk or in bike lanes. However, in areas with high pedestrian traffic and slow speed limits — in the confines of the Inner Dispersal Loop and in business districts like Brookside and Cherry Street — the scooters are not allowed on sidewalks.
The city doesn’t legally require scooter riders or bicyclists to wear helmets, though officials and the companies advise their use. Riders can obtain a helmet from the companies. Bird offers free helmets to those who pay shipping costs. Lime provides them to riders with more than $10 in their account.
When a user ends a ride, the scooter must be parked on a sidewalk and cannot impede pedestrian traffic.
Tulsa Traffic Code Changes For Electric Scooters: The ordinance change defines scooters as going no more than 15 mph and electric bicycles could go up to 28 mph and have an age restriction on who uses both of them.
A motorized scooter:
- Shall have no more than three wheels in contact with the ground.
- Has a handlebar and a foot support or seat for the rider.
- Incapable of speeds greater than 25 mph on level ground, an electric power output of not more than 1,000 watts or engine size greater than 35 ccs.
Who can ride a scooter?
- Anyone can ride a scooter, as no driver license or insurance is required.
- May be restricted from use on sidewalks in some jurisdictions, such as Broken Arrow.
- Must be ridden under the same regulations as a bicycle.
- Cannot be operated on streets that have a speed limit greater than 25 mph.
Electric Scooter-Related Accidents
With easy and abundant access to scooters for rent, accidents have already seen an increase. Because the scooters travel at 15 mph, the casual rider might not be able to handle it. Which poses a danger to them, as well as, pedestrians and bicyclists. There was already one accident reported in Santa Monica of a fairly serious scooter-related injury involving a car, which caused the female rider to sustain moderate head trauma. Noteworthy common causes of scooter accidents include:
- Scooter Defects
- Brakes Locking Up
- Panic Stops That Throw Rider
- Losing Control of Scooter
- Ride Error
- Reckless Driving While Crossing Intersections
- Pedestrians Hit by Scooters
- Road Hazards
- Riding Double
- Children Riding Scooters
- Not Wearing a Helmet
- Riding on Sidewalks
- Negligent Third Party
- Extremely Small Size Makes Scooter Less Visible
- Instability That Causes Scooter to Wobble
- Inexperienced Drivers
- Underage Drivers
- High-Risk Behavior
- Trips and Falls Caused by Improperly Parked Scooters
Potential Scooter Accidents
Rental scooters experience heavy use, which translates to higher levels of wear and tear, not to mention customer abuse. Scooter rental companies do not have time to check each scooter between rides to ensure it is still in good working order. This likely means by the time the company knows of a problem, an accident has already occurred. Potential injuries you can receive from a scooter accident greatly vary. However, single-rider accident victims could sustain:
- Broken bones
- Mild to severe concussions
- Cuts and bruises
- Wrist and/or arm injuries
- Ankle and/or leg injuries
- Neck injuries
- Back injuries
- Spinal cord damage
If you have an accident with a motor vehicle, your scooter accident injuries could potentially be much worse and also include death.
Who Pays Compensation?
Determining the source of compensation for electric scooter accident injuries can be extremely difficult. Since scooter rental riders do not need to carry liability insurance, they cannot count on insurance to kick in. Or, to pay for their injuries or the injuries they might inflict on others.
Above all, if the scooter operator receives harm by an uninsured motorist, they also cannot file against any uninsured motorist coverage they might have. Getting compensation for any scooter-related injuries really comes down to the fault.
Examples of fault in scooter rental accidents:
- Scooter Rider’s Fault: Their homeowner’s or renter’s insurance may cover any injuries, depending on their policy, if they have one, or you would have to seek a personal injury lawsuit against the responsible individual.
- Motor Vehicle Driver’s Fault: The driver’s auto insurance company may have accountability for the driver’s negligence.
- Pedestrian’s Fault: Again, their homeowner’s or renter’s insurance may cover any injuries, or you would have to seek a personal injury lawsuit against the individual.
- Rental Scooter Company’s Fault: The company may be liable for injuries if the accident was due to an equipment malfunction or defect.
- Business’ Fault: The business’ insurance may pay if the accident resulted from a hazard created by the business owner or someone in his employ
- City’s Fault: The city might have liability for injuries if the accident was due to potholes or other road hazards or defects.
Contact Garrett Law Group
We Help Get You Seek the Compensation You Deserve
As the influx of the scooters continues in Oklahoma, scooter-related accidents will most likely increase. As a result, if you have been injured in a scooter-related accident, the experienced personal injury lawyers at Garrett Law Group can help. We also offer free initial consultations to evaluate your scooter accident injuries.
Additionally, we’ll help identify who was at fault and discuss whether you have a case. We fight so hard to get you the compensation you deserve for scooter accident injuries to cover medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages. So, contact Garrett Law Group today by calling 918-574-6400.
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