E-Scooters: Dangerous and Unpredictable
Many e-scooter riders think that they are free to do whatever they like because there are very few rules that govern how riders should conduct themselves. As always, the law lags well behind technological advancements. Consequently, the spread of this newly popular method of travel that leaves behind a smaller carbon footprint than other modes of transportation has created legal issues of first impression in many places like Atlanta.
E-scooter use creates four possible scenarios for the riders, motorists, and pedestrians that places people at risk of sustaining an injury. The possible injury-causing situations are riding on the sidewalk, riding at excessive speeds, colliding with motor vehicles, creating a tripping hazard for pedestrians by abandoning scooters on sidewalks.
Riding any motorized vehicle is prohibited by state law in Georgia. Therefore, any rider who crashes into a pedestrian who was walking on the sidewalk is most likely at fault for causing the crash. Additionally, any rider who leaves their rented e-scooter haphazardly on the ground upon which a pedestrian could trip is also liable for the person’s injuries.
E-scooters are capable of reaching 15 miles per hour. While that speed pales in comparison to the speed to the top speed of a motorcycle, it is much faster than the average walking pace, or even running pace, of a pedestrian. An e-scooter’s top speed is comparable to a touring pace on a bicycle. Bicycle riders understand that crashing going 15 miles per hour can be lethal. By contrast, e-scooter riders may not appreciate the dangers associated with going that fast, especially when there is no concomitant rule to wear a helmet while riding an e-scooter.
The slim profile and silent motor of an e-scooter make them virtually invisible on the road to motorists, even to motorists who vigilantly scan the road for threats. E-scooters can easily fall into vehicles’ blind spots and begin turning without ever seeing the rider. The resulting collision between the motor vehicle and the e-scooter could be deadly.
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