The uptick in electric scooter riding in New York City has come with many complications, including a rising number of scooter-related injuries. New York City leaders and scooter company officials are weighing their options for creating a safer transit environment for these e-scooters. One recent report suggests that the most promising option is creating more third-lane bike lane options for electric scooters.
Scooters on Sidewalks Put Pedestrians at Risk
This report, compiled by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), found that most people injured in scooter accidents were riding on a sidewalk at the time of their accident. Their research suggests that scooter riders often do not feel safe enough to share the road with cars, so they opt for using sidewalks when bike lanes are unavailable. While this may keep scooter riders safe from colliding with vehicles, it puts pedestrians who use sidewalks at a greater risk.
The data show that three out of every five injured scooter riders sustained injuries while riding on a sidewalk. Conversely, only one out of five injured riders was hurt while riding in a bike lane. About a quarter of riders who were injured were in a traffic lane with cars when they were injured. These injuries are more serious than bike lane or sidewalk injuries.
Electric scooter injuries can include broken bones, cuts, bruises, and traumatic brain injuries. This is exacerbated by many people using electric scooters for fun, not for commuting to work. This means that numerous riders fail to wear helmets while operating the scooter. Some riders have died from injuries, necessitating a temporary pause on Revel scooters in the city this summer.
Designing a Safer City for E-Scooters
The IIHS report on scooter injuries reveals a gap in city infrastructure that, until addressed, will continue to cause scooter injuries and even deaths. More scooter riders are using sidewalks because they do not have adequate access to bike lanes, resulting in more accidents. This also puts pedestrians at a higher risk of being hit.
Scooter companies such as Link, Bird, and Lime agree that adding third lanes to city infrastructure would greatly benefit scooter riders. A spokesman for Lime said, “Adding street space for vulnerable road users like scooter riders, cyclists, and pedestrians at the expense of cars is the number one way to make streets safer for all users.”
Contact a New York Accident Attorney
If you were injured in a scooter accident, you might be entitled to compensation, even if you were partly at fault. The New York accident attorneys at Hach & Rose, LLP have the experience and determination it takes to win the full and fair compensation you deserve. Call our office today at (212) 779-0057 to speak with an attorney.