Electric scooters have been popping up on sidewalks and corners across Southern California. They are simple to use, just activate the scooter in front of you through a mobile smartphone application, pay a small fee, and you can zip around town faster than you would on foot. But while scooters are fun and entertaining, there are some serious risks involved.
Here are several of the risks and hazards you should consider before renting an electric scooter for transportation:
1. ER visits have increased over the past year following an influx of scooter accidents. Reckless riders are hurting themselves and others every day.
2. According to the rules of short-term scooter rental, you are required to ride on the road and to wear a helmet – but most riders remain on the sidewalk and helmets are not provided by the scooter company, so that rule is often ignored.
3. These scooter companies do not carry liability insurance. The user agreement states that you are required to arbitrate issues and that the government waives all liability. There is currently a class-action lawsuit attempting to force scooter companies to carry liability insurance.
4. Scooter companies do not staff employees for maintenance. Therefore, there is no quality control and safety standards are relaxed at best.
5. Throttle sticks and brake fails are both common mechanical issues that lead to scooter accidents. There are even individuals out there vandalizing scooters for pleasure.
So before you or a loved one rents an electric scooter, consider the risks and decided whether skipping a short walk is really worth the potential for serious injury.