While the first electric scooters appeared at the beginning of the twentieth century, they never really took off until lithium-ion batteries became cheap and readily available. Early electric scooters were also larger and awkward compared to modern versions. Along with being more accessible, today’s electric scooters are faster and easier to ride. The downside of that speed and accessibility is more accidents. Many scooter accident victims suffer serious injuries, especially if they’re not using safety equipment. Here are a few ways to avoid accidents and injuries as well as tips for steps to take if you’re involved in an accident while riding an electric scooter.
Choose the Best Safety Gear
Laws regarding electric scooters vary significantly from one community to another, so always verify the regulations in your area before riding. However, safety experts recommend wearing a helmet when riding an electric scooter, as severe head injuries are common if you’re involved in a scooter accident. In addition, install lights on any electric scooter to make riders more visible. Most rental scooters will have minimal safety equipment installed, so riders are encouraged to use extra caution when riding rental scooters. Consider wearing hand and eye protection in addition to a helmet when riding an electric scooter.
Ride Safely in Traffic
Electric scooters are no match for cars and trucks, so always take extra precautions when riding in traffic. Even if you have the right of way, don’t expect cars and trucks to yield. They might, but on the other hand, they might not. As with any other type of vehicle, safety experts recommend becoming accustomed to riding an electric scooter in a safe area before venturing into traffic. Before riding, check the scooter’s equipment before starting a ride. Make sure the controls function correctly, the tires are in good condition, the lights work, and the brakes will stop the scooter.
Plan Your Ride
Even though you probably have a specific destination, play your route carefully. Avoid high-traffic areas whenever possible. Riding in heavy traffic increases your chances of being in an accident dramatically. If there is construction along a route you usually take, look for alternative ways to reach your destination. Whenever possible, use bike lanes rather than shared road spaces.
Don’t Ride Impaired
Never ride an electric scooter if you’re under the influence of any substance. Doing so multiplies your chances of being involved in an accident. Rather than taking chances, use a ride-share service or call a friend to drive you home.
Protect Your Rights if You’re in an Accident
Remember that you’re usually responsible for any damages if you’re involved in an accident. That could be a problem, especially if the accident involves hitting a pedestrian. If you’re involved in an accident, don’t admit fault or make unnecessary statements to anyone else involved or bystanders. If you’re injured, seek medical assistance first, but contact an attorney for advice as soon as possible.
Because the entire realm of electric scooter liability is still in flux, there are numerous issues riders could face following an accident. In most cases, working with an attorney is recommended to ensure your rights are protected. Remember that most attorneys don’t charge for an initial consultation, so take advantage of that free meeting to get a better idea of your legal standing.