Just days ago, actress Lisa Banes succumbed to a traumatic brain injury she suffered when she was struck by a scooter. She was crossing the street near Lincoln Center in Manhattan on June 4 to visit Juilliard, where she had once studied.
The 65-year-old woman is just one of many people who have been injured or killed in accidents involving scooters – particularly electric scooters. The problem isn’t unique to bustling urban areas where e-scooters have become a popular form of transportation for commuters, delivery people, messengers and students. It’s everywhere.
People who happen to be in the path of an e-scooter rider are at risk of serious injury. So are the riders themselves – especially when they’re sharing the road with vehicles. Hitting the ground after being thrown from a moving e-scooter can cause head injuries and fractures.
The dangers for pedestrians
Pedestrians can be at risk when crossing the street because e-scooter riders often weave in and out of traffic. One emergency medicine physician says, “I have taken care of a number of pedestrians seriously injured in collisions with people operating e-scooters. Many have sustained head injuries, lacerations, concussions, internal organ injuries and extremity fractures.”
While riding on sidewalks may be safer for e-scooter users than on the street, that doesn’t make things any safer for the pedestrians who share those sidewalks with them. When e-scooter riders share bike lanes with cyclists, it can be a recipe for disaster for everyone involved.
What steps are needed to keep everyone safer?
With no signs that e-scooter popularity is going to wane any time soon, doctors and other safety advocates are calling for increased regulations and mandatory safety courses. They also want law enforcement agencies to focus on getting riders who are under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol off the streets and sidewalks. Both contribute significantly to the number of e-scooter accidents.
If you or a loved one has been struck by an e-scooter rider or has been struck by a motorist while riding an e-scooter, you could be dealing with crushing medical bills and long-term injuries. It’s essential to make sure you don’t settle for less than the compensation you need to deal with your expenses and damages.