The Growing Problem Of Lime And Bird Scooter Accidents
Anyone who has been in downtown San Antonio lately has noticed a dramatic growth in the number of e-scooters on the streets. What started as an experiment has grown into somewhat of a problem. Bird and Lime scooters are everywhere now. The city’s delay in passing regulations and ordinances has resulted in a growing number of accidents.
Several issues affect the number and severity of accidents involving e-scooters:
- Malfunctioning brakes
- Malfunctioning accelerators
- Poorly maintained streets and pathways
- Motor vehicles failing to yield the right of way
The lack of protective gear used by most e-scooter riders also contributes to injuries. Helmets are recommended but do not come with the scooters and are not required. Getting launched from a scooter at speeds as low as 15 miles per hour can cause traumatic and sometimes fatal injuries.
Road Conditions Often Contribute To Accidents
Small irregularities in a road surface that have no effect on a car or motorcycle can send an e-scooter rider over the handlebars. The ban on riding on the sidewalk has moved e-scooters onto streets that are not always properly maintained. Poor lighting conditions sometimes make it hard to detect broken asphalt or cement until it’s too late. Defects in the road that has little effect on cars and motorcycles can send e-scooter riders over the handlebars and headfirst into the ground.
Maintenance On E-scooters Is Mostly Unregulated
The law has not caught up with the rapidly developing industry of scooter-share systems. As a result, there are not many regulations concerning the maintenance and safety of e-scooters. Scooter companies often don’t learn about mechanical problems until a user reports a problem. There have also been complaints that the mechanics who maintain e-scooter fleets are often amateurs with very little training. Until regulations are implemented to set standards for the safety of e-scooter fleets, it will be difficult to verify the safety of individual scooters within a fleet.