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Rental Scooter Accidents in Kansas City: Injuries on the Rise

Posted By Montee Law Firm, P.C. || 1-Nov-2018

Rental electric scooters have become the latest trend in sharable app-based transportation services, growing in popularity at a clip akin to bikeshare programs and rideshare services like Uber and Lyft. Similar to how those services work, customers using an app on their smart phone can locate the nearest scooter, unlock it, and get where they need to go. Since they don’t have to be docked at specific locations like some early iterations of sharable bikes, riders can simply hop off, terminate their rides, and go about their way.

The convenience, cost-effectiveness, and other benefits associated with sharable e-scooters – which include easing traffic congestion and reducing pollution – are partly why they’ve become so popular so fast in many major cities and metro areas, including here in Kansas City. For many riders, they’re also downright fun, and can travel at speeds up to or over 15 mph without any need to pedal. Unfortunately, rental scooters aren’t all fun and games: officials, hospitals, and law enforcement are reporting more injuries.

Statistics on Scooter Accidents

Since sharable scooters from companies like Bird and Lime has burst onto the scene in the Kansas City metro and increased in visibility over the past several months, local hospitals and emergency room doctors have reported a notable rise in scooter-related injuries. The trend is mirrored throughout the country.

  • Local doctors and ER staff, including those from Saint Luke’s, have reported upticks in scooter-related accidents in Kansas City.
  • Other hospitals throughout the U.S. are reporting similar trends. During a three-month period this summer in Salt Lake City, for example, physicians at the University of Utah Health’s ER reported a 161% increase in the number of visits involving scooters compared to the same time period last year.
  • Hospitals have shared that the most common injuries tend to involve fractures, dislocation, and injuries to ankles, wrists, and other extremities, as well as concussions and brain injuries among riders who don’t wear helmets.
  • In September, one of the first fatal accidents involving a scooter rider was reported in Dallas, Texas. The victim in that incident suffered a fatal head injury after falling off a Lime scooter. A 20-year-old man was also killed in a scooter accident after being struck by an SUV in Washington, DC.

Safety Concerns Loom Large

The data, though partly anecdotal, contributes to growing concerns about the safety of sharable scooters, especially as their use continue to grow and companies push their presence into more and more cities across the country. In response, some cities have already banned e-scooters, while others, including Kansas City, have announced new measures to crack down on risks and ticket risky riders. For example, as the city’s webpage on electric scooters notes, since e-scooters are classified as motor vehicles, riding them on sidewalks is a violation that can earn you a citation, including those who ride on sidewalks. Safety advocates and officials are also looking to expand bike lanes across the city.

While measures are being taken, the fact remains that scooters do pose considerable safety risks – not only to riders, but also motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians with whom they share the road. Examples of common scooter-related safety risks and accidents include:

  • Car accidents involving riders being struck by negligent drivers
  • Bicycle accidents, including those caused by negligent scooter riders in bike lanes, or the negligence of cyclists
  • Pedestrian accidents, including accidents involving reckless scooter riders at intersections or on sidewalks
  • Drunk driving accidents, including intoxicated scooter riders
  • Trip and fall accidents caused by abandoned dockless scooters
  • Hazardous conditions on a premises
  • Accidents caused by poorly maintained or defective scooters
  • Roadway hazards and defects, including potholes and other hazards
  • Accidents resulting in serious or catastrophic injuries

Protecting Your Rights After an Avoidable Injury

Montee Law Firm, P.C. is a personal injury law firm which has earned national recognition for protecting the rights of victims and families across Missouri, Kanas, and the country. Since 1996, our award-winning lawyers have recovered over $250 million in verdicts and settlements for clients, and leverage more than a century of combined experience to tackle even the toughest cases – including all types of traffic accidents involving scooters.

If you or someone you love has been hurt in a scooter-related accident which could and should have been prevented, our team is available to help you better understand your right to pursue a personal injury claim and a financial recovery of your losses. Contact us to request a FREE case evaluation.

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