E-scooters have become one of the most popular forms of transportation in U.S cities today. Though these scooters provide a viable alternative to cars and mass transit, their convenience does not come without a cost. Emergency rooms across the country reported a 365% increase in scooter injuries between 2014 and 2018. Those numbers do not appear to be declining. If you are wondering whether these vehicles are the right mode of transportation for you, here are the answers to some critical questions about e-scooters injuries in Rhode Island.
What vehicles qualify as e-scooters?
Rhode Island defines a motor scooter as a scooter with a motor rated at 4.9 hp or less, no more than 50 ccs, and that is unable to propel the vehicle faster than 30 mph.
Do you need to be a certain age or have a driver's license to operate an e-scooter?
The law requires that all motor scooter operators have a valid driver's license or municipal id. However, to reserve a motor scooter through most e-scooter sharing companies, you must be 18 years old.
What are the most common scooter injuries?
The most common e-scooter injuries include head injuries (34%), fractures (27%), contusions/abrasions (23%), and lacerations (14%).
What are the common causes of Injury?
The common causes of e-scooter injuries are lack of experience, failure to wear protective gear, and reckless operation. Under state law, you must wear a helmet to operate an e-scooter if you are under 21 years old or have been driving a motor scooter for 1 year or less. Unfortunately, many users are unaware of this law and operate e-scooters without experience or gear. Operators also cause injury by driving erratically, swerving between pedestrians, parked cars, and vehicles on the roadway.
Is it safer to operate an e-scooter on the sidewalk or street?
Drivers can operate motor scooters on sidewalks or in the roadway, but they must follow the rules of the road. If used on a sidewalk or blocked-off street, operators must yield to pedestrians. If used in a roadway or bike lane, drivers must obey traffic laws.
What happens if you are injured in an e-scooter accident?
If you or your property are injured because of an e-scooter, the operator of that scooter likely will be liable. Generally, e-scooter sharing companies are only responsible for injury if a scooter malfunctions or isn't maintained properly. If you are injured while operating an e-scooter because of a crack or pothole in a city street, you must notify the city of your claim and the damaged street's location before filing suit.
Injured in an E-Scooter Accident? We Can Help.
The attorneys at Inman & Tourgee have over 30 years of experience in personal injury. We have helped our clients recover compensation resulting from all types of accidents, even those involving scooters. Contact us here or call (401)823-9200 so that we can begin to assist you today.