Electric scooters, aka motorized scooters, have been all the rage recently. Riders could not be happier about the exciting alternative to riding bicycles and walking, while scooter manufacturers and scooter rental providers could not be more thrilled to see their pockets get larger at an exponential rate.
“But with all the fun, convenience, and profits come lots of risks to pedestrians in California,” warns our Los Angeles pedestrian accident attorney at Law Offices of Howard Kornberg. “In Los Angeles, where I practice law, people are literally going crazy over electric scooters despite all the dangers and risks posed by motorized scooters.”
Insurance companies and lawmakers scratching their heads over electric scooters
In 2018, it is not something extraordinary to see electric scooters riding on local boardwalks and sidewalks. Personally, I have witnessed an electric scooter colliding with a pedestrian in Los Angeles, and the victim was not able to recover damages simply because his insurance company refused to classify electric scooters as a mode of transportation.
But insurance companies are not the only ones scratching their heads over electric scooters, as California lawmakers are also trying to figure out what to do with this trendy mode of transportation in the state. In particular, local lawmakers are mulling over whether or not electric rideables should be banned from sidewalks and boardwalks, and whether riders should be legally required to wear helmets.
Another question that often arises in discussions regarding electric scooters is whether scooter riders should be allowed to use the new mode of transportation while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. But what our experienced pedestrian accident lawyer is going to focus on today is how electric scooters can be dangerous to pedestrians in California.
Why electric scooters are dangerous to pedestrians
According to estimations by researchers, electric scooters will grow into a $37 billion global market by 2024, a 2.6 time increase from $14 billion in 2014. In recent months, Bird and Lime, the two largest scooter companies in the United States, have begun operating in nearly 30 cities across our nation.
What makes electric scooters on sidewalks dangerous to pedestrians is the speed at which they are traveling. On average, a pedestrian is walking at a speed of four miles per hour. Electric scooters, on the other hand, can accelerate to 15 miles per hour, which is nearly four times as fast as pedestrians.
This creates a dangerous force, which can cause serious injury or even death if an electric scooter collides with a pedestrian while traveling at high speed. And considering that many scooters are capable of carrying two passengers, the force can become even more dangerous and deadly.
How electric scooters make sidewalks hostile territory for pedestrians
While electric riders striking pedestrians is an obvious risk posed by this mode of transportation, our Los Angeles pedestrian accident attorney insists that this is not the only reason why scooters are dangerous to pedestrians in California.
Given that pedestrians are aware of the risk of being hit by a motorized scooter on a sidewalk or boardwalk at any second; this risk alone unintentionally makes sidewalks hostile territory for pedestrians. Meaning: pedestrians will be more likely to avoid sidewalks, and, in turn, be at risk of being hit by cars and other vehicles on the road. Or pedestrians might even stop walking altogether and opt to get around by car.
Currently, the United States has one of the lowest rates of walking and bicycling in the world. You can only imagine how turning over the sidewalks to electric scooters might affect the national rates of walking.
If you have been hit by an electric scooter while walking on a sidewalk in Los Angeles or elsewhere in California, schedule a free consultation with our skilled attorneys at the Law Offices of Howard Kornberg. Call 310-997-0904 today.