For years people have clamored for fast and convenient transportation, and every once in a while an invention hits the market and makes a true impact. Almost all of us can vouch for the ease of calling an Uber or Lyft for convenient transportation. Now, there’s a new competitor for easy transportation, but this one may be dangerous.
Taking over the streets of downtown South Florida cities is the newest electronic mode of transportation called Bird- an electronic scooter. Users simply download an app on their smart phones that allows for activation of a scooter and keeps track of mileage for billing purposes. Seems like a great idea, right? Well, it could be, but there are many hidden risks.
The difference between Bird and Uber / Lyft is that a Bird scooter can be picked up and abandoned at any time, in any place. Unlike an Uber vehicle, which is considered an automobile and must abide by road safety rules, Bird scooters do not have parking spaces or docking stations. There is also no way to distinguish an inexperienced rider or an underage rider from downloading the app and operating this vehicle on the busy streets of South Florida.
According to CBSMiami, there has been an influx of collisions between pedestrians on the sidewalks of Fort Lauderdale and riders. According to Mayor Dean Trantalis, electronic scooters are already being banned during this year’s spring break.
On an episode of Netflix’s “Follow This” in which Bird scooters were explained, several attorneys expressed their concerns about scooters and described injuries and collisions such as:
- Motor vehicle drivers being unable to identify scooter riders due to their compact structure causing collisions.
- Scooter riders being injured due a pothole or defect in the road.
- Scooter and pedestrian impacts and/or scooter and motor vehicle impacts.
- Inexperienced riders endangering themselves and others on the road.
- Users tampering with the original use of the scooter causing a malfunction for the next rider.
- Crowded and/or obstructed streets and sidewalks due to abandoned scooters.
There are several safety precautions that we suggest any Bird scooter user abide by to avoid such accidents which include:
- Always wear a helmet when operating a scooter.
- Always have your license with you (Bird requires users to be 18 or older)
- Limit your baggage when using a scooter.
- Be aware of all surroundings and abide by the rules of the road.
- Be aware of all pedestrians when parking a scooter on the sidewalk to avoid a collision or possible walkway hazard for a passer-by.
- Have proper training and experience before operating the scooter.
- Avoid the use of alcohol or illegal substances before operating the scooter, as you would with a motor vehicle.
If you, or someone you know, has been injured due to scooter negligence, the malfunction of a product, a collision that was not your fault, or a fall due to the negligence of a properly maintained area, contact Cutler Rader (954) 913-CASE (2273). Your consultation is always free.