Electric Scooters Stall in Philadelphia. That’s Not Such a Bad Thing.

May 13, 2019

Electric scooters are popping up in cities all over the United States as a fun, convenient and low-cost car alternative that reduces pollution and provides transportation for people in areas where public transportation is hard to find.

Philadelphia has moved closer to joining the scooter craze, as scooter supporters and lobbyists attempt to get the City Council to allow them on our streets by this summer. Representatives of Lime, Bird, and Spin, companies that already rent scooters in more than 80 cities, support proposed state legislation that would legalize scooters and allow Philadelphia to create rules governing them.

Despite the pro-scooter hype, the Mayor’s Office of Transportation, Infrastructure and Sustainability (OTIS) is recommending a more cautious approach, which is probably prudent under the circumstances. Some Pennsylvania state representatives have raised legitimate safety issues. While the number of scooter crash deaths is small — with four people killed in U.S. crash deaths in the past year — this far outnumbers the two deaths from bike-sharing programs in the past nine years. According to Consumer Reports, about 1,500 people have been injured in e-scooter crashes in the U.S. since 2017. In addition to scooter riders, 129,000 pedestrians were treated in emergency rooms for crash-related injuries in 2015, according to the CDC.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a scooter accident in Philadelphia, PA, you should consult an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible.  If another party’s negligence or irresponsibility was involved, you may be entitled to receive financial compensation to cover your medical expenses, lost wages, property loss, loss of life’s enjoyment, and pain and suffering. However, your case must be handled correctly, or you may never collect the compensation you are entitled to.

The skilled and experienced Philadelphia personal injury attorneys at Wapner Newman are committed to giving your scooter case individual attention. Our personal injury lawyers can provide you with dependable guidance, a listening ear, and strong legal strategies. We have helped hundreds of clients through the years secure the compensation they are entitled to through our thorough and creative investigative legal solutions.

Please contact Wapner Newman today to schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced lawyers to see how we can help.

Pros and cons of scooters

Scooters are still controversial, with each side pointing to the benefits and potential hazards.

Proponents of scooters cite many positive effects:

  • Scooters are useful because they can be picked up and left off almost anywhere in a city. Users locate and ‘unlock’ available scooters and pay for them with a smartphone app.
  • Since scooters do not require fixed stations for checkout, they would benefit people in neighborhoods not served by public transit or the bike share program, and would benefit more women and people of color.
  • Scooters cost only a few dollars per ride and can be parked anywhere not explicitly prohibited.
  • Scooters reduce carbon emissions, congestion and the dangers posed by traffic.
  • Scooters compel policymakers to fix road surfaces and design safer transportation infrastructure.
  • Scooters are getting safer. For example, Lime has added safety measures — making scooters heavier and lowering the center of gravity, and utilizing wider footboards, larger tires and a screen that reminds users to wear helmets.
  • Adding scooters increases drivers’ awareness of all non-car entities on the road, boosts support for bike lanes, and increases safety overall.
  • Taxing the scooter industry can generate income that would go back into fixing city streets.

Opponents of scooters cite the following negatives:

  • Scooters can cause accidents for reasons that range from manufacturing defects to user carelessness.  Defects such as brake failure or sticking throttles may cause the scooter to malfunction and crash.
  • There is not enough training required for first-time riders. Scooters can travel up to 15 miles per hour, be difficult to contain and take both riders and pedestrians by surprise. The result is injuries that include concussions, brain bleeds and other head and neck injuries, broken bones, lacerations, fractures, and internal bleeding.
  • People riding scooters don’t use protective equipment such as helmets and knee and elbow pads.
  • Poor design of scooters. Scooters accelerate rapidly and are less stable than bicycles because they have a shorter wheelbase and smaller wheels, so they will be affected by any defects in the pavement.
  • Motor vehicle drivers are required to have insurance, but scooter riders are not required to carry liability insurance and most insurance will not cover scooter claims.
  • There is not enough accountability for scooter companies for broken or abandoned scooters and batteries that wind up littering streets and blocking sidewalks.

Contact Us for Help and Guidance

If you or a loved one is involved in an electric scooter crash that was caused by someone else’s negligence, carelessness, or wrongdoing, you may be entitled to seek damages in a lawsuit that will hold the responsible party accountable.  While scooters are so new that laws relating to scooter accidents are not always clear, an experienced personal injury attorney can advise you and guide your case.

The seasoned and compassionate Pennsylvania personal attorneys at Wapner Newman offer a free consultation to examine the facts of any vehicle crash that caused damages. Our unique legal approach helps ensure that no stone is left unturned as we investigate and document every detail relating to your claim and do everything possible to get you the settlement you deserve.

Contact us online or call our offices today for your free consultation.