Segway Accidents Pose Significant Danger to Users in Georgia


June 19, 2011

There is an estimated 80,000 Segways that have been sold and are in use around the world. When it comes to tracking any accidents that occur due to the use of Segways, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (UCPSC) includes them in the same injury category as scooters and 4 wheel motorized skateboards.

The agency does a pretty efficient job at monitoring accident statistics and their effort actually resulted in a recall back in 2006 that included 23,000 of the devices.

Although they look like a lot of fun and are pretty straightforward to use, these two-wheeled scooters can cause a person serious injuries and even death. A year after Jim Heselden, the British entrepreneur, purchased the Segway Company from U.S. inventor Dean Kamen; he plunged to his death from a 30 foot cliff while riding on his Segway.

Dr. Mary Pat McKay, a professor of emergency medicine and public health at George Washington University, urged U.S. consumer safety experts to better monitor accidents that occur from the use of Segways after she compared admission rates for Segway injuries to those who came to the ER for auto accident injuries. She published a case review in the Annals of Emergency Medicine that revealed that between April 2005 and November 2008, 41 patients came into the George Washington emergency room due to Segway injuries. The percentage admission rate for those who visited the emergency room was higher for these injuries than for people who had been hit by a car.

Segways are Potentially Dangerous

Some of the injuries that they were seeing in the emergency rooms from Segway accidents were severe facial trauma, brain injuries, as well as fractures of the collarbone, ankles and arms. It must be acknowledged that the study that was conducted by Dr. McKay encompasses a rather small fraction of the total overall emergency visits to the George Washington University Hospital. However, the researchers were still surprised to see how many Segway accidents actually resulted in these types of severe injuries.

Most people who were injured while using the Segways were visitors to the Washington D.C. area and were on the Segways as part of a guided tourist group. Most hit stationary objects in the city that caused them to fall off of their Segways.

One woman by the name of Carol Drohan was riding with a tourist group when she hit an orange street cone with her Segway. As she fell off, her right leg got caught in her Segway causing her to break her leg in three places, dislocate her ankle, as well as tear ligaments and blood vessels. Her leg is now held together with a plate and screws and she has to walk with a cane. She now warns everyone to not ever get on a Segway.

Liability

The Segway devices have had their issues. At one point, the balance sensor was mistakenly causing the battery in the devices to shut off when it thought it sensed the rider was going to fast. In some other cases, the Segway would suddenly throw itself in reverse and take off at high speed. When these incidents happened, the riders may be thrown to the ground and incur head injuries and other injuries.

If you or a loved one have been riding on a Segway that unexpectedly malfunctioned or if you were involved in an accident while riding a Segway due to someone else's negligence, we invite you to contact our Georgia personal injury law firm today. We may be able to help you recover damages from the manufacturer or from whoever is to blame for your injuries.

If you or someone you love is injured in a Segway accident due to negligent conduct or a product defect, our Georgia accident attorneys can help you as they have helped families throughout Georgia for over 27 years. Our personal injury attorneys, including our Georgia Segway accident attorneys, are available to assist clients throughout all of Georgia, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Dalton, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state. Call us today for your free consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333), or visit us on the web at www.montlick.com. No matter where you are in Georgia, we are just a phone call away and we will even come to you.

Category: Personal Injury

Please Note:
Many of our blog articles discuss the law. All information provided about the law is very general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Every situation is different, and should be analyzed by a lawyer who can provide individualized advice based on the facts involved in your unique situation, and a consideration of all of the nuances of the statutes and case law that apply at the time.