By Raleigh + Durham Worker’s Comp & Personal Injury Attorneys at Hyland + Padilla PLLC
In July 2018, Raleigh became home to 1,500 electric scooters–and people either loved or hated them. On the plus side, they’re cheap, convenient, and add a spark of fun to getting around the city. On the downside, they come with risks: between July and December 2018, there were 31 crashes in Raleigh involving scooters and cars. Most recently, a man on an e-scooter broke his leg after he ran a red light and collided with a car in downtown Raleigh in April 2019.
E-Scooter Rules in Raleigh
While it may seem like the Wild West out there when it comes to electric scooters there are city rules. In downloading the app necessary to access the scooters, E-scooter riders agree that they are 18 years old or older, that they will wear a helmet, and to refrain from riding on the sidewalks. Riders also aren’t supposed to double up on scooters and should follow all the traffic laws applicable to motor vehicles, including observing stop signs and red lights. Unfortunately, scooter riders routinely flout these rules, which enhances their (and other people’s) risk of getting into an accident or becoming injured.
Raleigh scooter-related injuries have ranged from minor to serious, although there is not yet a formal report on the full extent and nature of such injuries. Emerging research from the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center indicates that a third of people involved in scooter accidents have injuries that require them to receive emergency room treatment. Emergency room professionals treated many people for injuries to the wrist, arm, and ankle, but there were also a significant number of head injuries, from minor concussions to brain bleeding. In some cities, e-scooter riders have even died after being struck by cars.
The Future of E-Scooters in Raleigh
In response to the rise of e-scooters and spate of accidents, the Raleigh City Council unanimously approved new, strict regulations for electric scooters in November 2019. Months later, the leading e-scooter companies in the city, Bird and Lime, announced that they plan on withdrawing scooters from Raleigh because they find the restrictions “onerous,” although Bird has said that they would remain at least through July 2019.
The city is currently in talks with other e-scooter companies willing to meet Raleigh’s requirements.
In the meantime, Raleigh residents should feel free to ride e-scooters but be aware of the risks and observe all the rules. They’re in place for your health and safety.
If you are injured on or by an e-scooter, call our experienced Raleigh-Durham personal injury attorneys at Hyland + Padilla PLLC about your options for treatment and compensation. A skilled Raleigh personal injury attorney can help you figure out the next steps to take after your accident.