You may be noticing e-scooters popping up all over Tampa and other parts of Florida. The dockless scooters will be arriving in full force within a few months, and while many are excited about the new option for commuting, others are skeptical about their safety.
You can rent one through an app on your phone, which will tell you the location of the nearest scooter. You then unlock the lightweight scooter and ride it wherever you want by standing on its narrow footboard and operating it with hand levers. When you are finished, you just leave the scooter where you stop and lock it, and the app will charge your credit card and log the location for the next person who wants a ride. Unfortunately, you may be parking it outside the emergency room.
Problems with the scooters
If you rent a scooter for the first time, you have only to watch a brief video on the app about operating the device safely. You may agree with the many who have suffered injuries that the manufacturers could do more to make their product safe to use. Most of the injuries occur to riders when they are unable to negotiate issues with their scooter; however, some have suffered injuries because of defects in the device. Some examples of injury-causing events include the following:
- Your scooter takes off too fast, and you are unable to control it.
- Your scooter hits a curb or bump at 15 or 20 mph and hurls you over the handlebars.
- You are a pedestrian who is hit from behind by someone who does not know how to navigate a scooter.
- Your very low profile on the scooter makes it difficult for large vehicles to see you in the street.
- Someone finishes with a scooter and leaves it lying on the sidewalk for you to trip over.
- Scooter batteries overheat during charging and explode or catch fire.
- Riders have reported throttles that stick, brakes that fail and footboards that break apart when the device hits a bump.
Injuries range from extensive scrapes, bruises and broken bones to traumatic head injuries, internal bleeding and death by blunt force trauma. If you take a chance riding one of these scooters, you should be aware of the safety issues involved, especially in a comparative negligence state like Florida where your actions can affect the outcome of any claim for compensation.