The Rise of E-Scooter Injuries in Los Angeles: What You Need to Know
Electric scooters, or e-scooters, have become increasingly popular in Los Angeles in recent years. However, along with the rise in popularity comes a rise in e-scooter injuries. In this blog post, we'll explore the causes of e-scooter injuries in Los Angeles and what you need to know to stay safe.
E-scooters offer many benefits, however, they also come up with their own set of risks and limitations that should be considered before use. Let’s explore the pros and cons of using an e-scooter in Los Angeles as a method of transportation and provide you with the information you need to make an informed decision about whether e-scooters are right for you.
• Cost-effective: E-scooters can be a cost-effective way to get around Los Angeles, especially for short distances. The average price of an e-scooter in Los Angeles can vary depending on the brand, model, and features. Generally, you can find e-scooters ranging in price from around $200 to over $1000. However, many people in Los Angeles choose to use shared e-scooters which typically cost around $1 to unlock and then a few cents per minute of use. This can be a cost-effective option for those who only use e-scooters occasionally or for short distances.
• Convenient: E-scooters are widely available in Los Angeles, and you can easily find and unlock them with a mobile app. There are several e-scooter companies operating in Los Angeles, including Lime, Bird, Spin, Jump, and Wheels.
• Eco-friendly: E-scooters are an eco-friendly mode of transportation as they don't emit harmful pollutants and are powered by electricity. Additionally, e-scooters take up less space on the road and in parking areas, which can help reduce traffic congestion and the need for large parking lots.
• Saves time: With top speeds of up to around 15 mph, e-scooters can help riders travel more quickly and efficiently. Additionally, e-scooters can be faster than taking public transportation, especially during peak traffic hours when buses and trains may be delayed or crowded.
• Parking flexibility: E-scooters offer greater flexibility and convenience than public transportation, as riders can pick them up and drop them off at various locations throughout the city, without needing to wait for a specific bus or train schedule.
• Safety risks: Falls and collision, lack of protection for the rider, inadequate safety gear or lack thereof, rider inexperience, poor maintenance and reckless behavior might all factor in as potential safety risks to consider.
• Lack of regulation: E-scooters are not currently regulated in many cities, including Los Angeles, for a variety of reasons. One reason is that the technology is relatively new, and regulations have not yet caught up with the rapid growth of the industry. Additionally, some e-scooter companies have been able to quickly enter the market and operate without much oversight, due to a lack of existing regulations. Another reason is that the regulatory framework for e-scooters can be complex and difficult to navigate, as it involves multiple government agencies and stakeholders. Some cities have implemented temporary regulations or pilot programs to test out different approaches to e-scooter regulation, while others are still working to develop a comprehensive regulatory framework. Ultimately, the goal of regulation is to ensure the safety of riders and pedestrians, while also balancing the needs of the e-scooter industry and the broader community.
• Poor maintenance: As mentioned previously, this is a big risk that must not be taken lightly as the scooters can malfunction with their brakes, tire wear, battery, loose parts, and even electrical failures, which could all lead to serious accidents or worse.
• Restricted areas: E-scooters are not allowed on all sidewalks in Los Angeles, and some areas may be restricted for e-scooter use, this is usually due to concerns regarding pedestrian traffic and local regulations.
• Weather limitations: E-scooters are not ideal for use in inclement weather conditions such as rain or snow. In addition, rain and snow can also impair the visibility of both the rider and other motorists, making it more difficult to see and avoid potential hazards. E-scooters also typically have smaller wheels and may not have the same level of traction as a car or bicycle, which can make it more difficult to maintain control on wet surfaces.
Overall, while e-scooters can be a convenient and cost-effective mode of transportation in Los Angeles, they come with some risks and limitations that should be considered before use. It's important to follow safety guidelines, wear a helmet, and ride responsibly to reduce the risk of accidents and injuries.
According to a report by the CDC, there were over 14,600 e-scooter-related injuries in the United States in 2019 alone. According to another study published in JAMA Network Open in 2019, there were 249 reported e-scooter injuries in a three-month period in Los Angeles, with 8% of those injuries classified as severe, and no fatalities reported. Even though it is generally safe to ride e-scooters it’s important to understand the accident causes, so it can help riders make informed decisions and take necessary precautions to reduce their risk of injury while riding an e-scooter.
1. Lack of regulation: E-scooter companies are not regulated by the government, which means there are no set standards for rider safety.
2. Rider inexperience: Many riders are inexperienced and may not know how to properly operate an e-scooter. This can lead to accidents, especially if the rider is not familiar with the controls or if they are not able to maintain their balance.
3. Reckless behavior: Some riders engage in reckless behavior such as riding on sidewalks or weaving in and out of traffic and ignoring traffic laws.
4. Poor maintenance: E-scooter companies may not properly maintain their fleet, which can lead to malfunctions and accidents.
5. Distracted riding: Riders may be distracted by their phones or other devices while riding, which can lead to accidents if they are not paying attention to their surroundings. This is especially true with music listening riders because they may not detect audio signals that might help them avoid potential dangers.
• Wear a helmet: In the event of an accident, wearing a helmet can significantly reduce the risk of head injuries. This is especially important for e-scooter riders, who are vulnerable to head trauma due to the lack of protection around them. Even a low-speed collision can result in serious head injuries without the use of a helmet.
• Follow traffic laws: If you're an e-scooter rider, it's important to follow traffic laws to ensure a safe and enjoyable riding experience. E-scooters are classified as vehicles and should be ridden in the street, following all traffic laws. By following these laws, you'll not only protect yourself, but also those around you.
• Avoid reckless behavior: Don't ride on sidewalks or engage in other reckless behavior that puts yourself and others at risk.
• Check the e-scooter before riding: Make sure the brakes, lights, and other features are working properly before riding. Sometimes failures are not readily apparent, for this reason it’s important to always be on the lookout for anything that might feel wrong while riding, if you are unsure, it’s best to have it checked by a trained professional.
• Know your limits: Don't ride an e-scooter if you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol or if you are feeling unwell. These vehicles albeit slow can still cause severe injuries, for this reason it’s best not to test your limits, as they require a good amount of dexterity to ride properly.
1. Use bike lanes or shared paths where possible: When available, use bike lanes or shared paths to ride your e-scooter. This will help you avoid traffic and reduce your risk of accidents.
2. Obey traffic signals and signs: Just like any other vehicle, e-scooters are required to obey traffic signals and signs. This includes stopping at red lights and stop signs and yielding to pedestrians and other vehicles when necessary.
3. Ride defensively: Always be aware of your surroundings and ride defensively to avoid accidents. This means keeping an eye out for other vehicles, pedestrians, and potential hazards, such as potholes or debris in the road.
4. Avoid distracted riding: Avoid using your phone or other devices while riding your e-scooter. Distracted riding can be dangerous and increase your risk of accidents.
By following these tips, you can ride your e-scooter safely and responsibly. It's also important to remember that following traffic laws is not only about safety, but also about avoiding fines and legal trouble. By obeying traffic laws, you can enjoy your e-scooter without any unnecessary complications.
• Seek medical attention: Even if you don't think your injuries are serious, it's important to get checked out by a medical professional. From a legal perspective, seeking medical attention after an accident can help establish the severity of your injuries and provide documentation of any treatment or medical expenses you may have incurred. This can be crucial evidence in a personal injury claim, as it can help prove the extent of your injuries and the impact they have had on your life.
• Document the scene: Take photos of the scene of the accident and get the contact information of any witnesses. This will help establish the cause of the accident, which will help with the insurance claim, determine who is at fault and protect your rights.
• Contact a personal injury lawyer: If you've been injured in an e-scooter accident, it's important to contact a personal injury lawyer to protect your rights and ensure you get the compensation you deserve.
E-scooters can be a fun and convenient way to get around Los Angeles, but it's important to ride safely and responsibly. By following these tips, you can reduce your risk of e-scooter injuries and enjoy all that Los Angeles has to offer. If you've been injured in an e-scooter accident, don't hesitate to contact an experienced personal injury lawyer to protect your rights.