E-scooters and e-bikes are proving to be more deadly than convenient. In the summer months of 2020, emergency departments across New York City reported a concerning uptick in accidents related to personal and pay-per-use motorized bikes and scooters.
According to the New York Post, the expansion of Revel’s scooter program, particularly in the Bronx, significantly elevated the number of accidents involving motorized two-wheeled vehicles. The injuries reported ranged anywhere from bumps and bruises to dislocations, fractures, and traumatic brain injuries. Sadly, at least three of the reported e-scooter accidents resulted in fatalities.
At Siler & Ingber, we advocate for all riders and pedestrians’ rights to travel safely on NYC streets. E-scooters and e-bikes can cause life-threatening accidents when riders are reckless or inexperienced. In this blog, we’ll discuss the primary safety concerns associated with these motorized vehicles on NYC roads and what all New Yorkers need to watch for to stay safe.
Common Causes of E-Scooter and E-Bike Accidents
According to Reuters, e-scooter and e-bike injures have been increasing dramatically nationwide for years. Over 14,600 e-scooter-related injuries were reported in 2018, up from 1,083 injuries reported in 2014.
There are plenty of ways to cause an e-bike or e-scooter, regardless of how long you have been riding one. The most common factors leading to these types of motorized vehicle accidents include:
- Inexperienced riders;
- Lack of protected lanes;
- Congested streets and sidewalks;
- Reckless riders who swerve through people;
- Pedestrians and bicyclists unprepared to encounter e-bikes and e-scooters; and;
- Malfunctions and defects from overuse or manufacturing errors.
Additionally, some e-scooters come equipped with small wheels that can make it incredibly difficult to control the vehicle at high speeds. Smaller wheels can stick in cracks and catch on uneven pavement when riding on the sidewalk or potholes when operating on the street.
E-Scooter and E-Bike Injury Trends
Despite both e-bikes and e-scooters posing a risk for life-threatening injuries, a study by Reuters found different injury trends for each vehicle. E-scooters were three times more likely to result in concussion injuries and bone fractures, where e-bike riders suffered from more internal injuries going at near-double the speed that e-scooters are capable of.
Approximately 32 percent of people injured an e-scooters in 2018 involved suffered head injuries. This is primarily due to riders not wearing helmets when riding, both as renters or owners of these vehicles. Injuries to the lower extremities were only slightly higher in prevalence at about 33 percent, and upper extremity injuries accounted for over 25 percent of all injures reported.
Streets Blog reports that nearly 40 percent of all accidents involve a new rider who is jumping on an e-bike or e-scooter for the first time. They are typically using the vehicles for recreational or tourism purposes. Rarely are the riders who cause accidents New Yorkers who are using these vehicles for their daily commute.
Anyone Can Become A Victim
You don’t have to be riding an e-scooter or e-bike to become a victim of an accident. Pedestrians, bicyclists, and occupants of other motor vehicles are all at risk when a motorized vehicle is out of control. All New Yorkers much stay alert to these vehicles and expect the unexpected when it comes to how they will operate.
The most recent accidents involving e-scooter and e-bike riders in NYC have met one of the following instances:
- A pedestrian struck on the sidewalk or crosswalk;
- A bicyclist struck on the road;
- Damage to a parked vehicle from reckless driving; or
- Collisions with moving vehicles on the road.
The bulk of these accidents occur when new riders pay-to-ride an e-scooter or e-bike for the first time. New riders are unfamiliar with how to operate these motorized vehicles or how to ride in a busy city. It doesn’t take much for a rider to cause a major collision at a busy intersection or to wipe out a sidewalk of unsuspecting people if the rider loses control.
How to Ride Safe
The safest bet to take with an e-bike or e-scooter is to wait to purchase until dedicated lanes are installed in NYC. E-scooters and e-bikes are certainly a more eco-friendly and convenient mode of transportation. But current road conditions provide zero protection for riders or the other occupants who share the road.
If you still want to take the chance of riding a motorized scooter or bike in NYC, these are the steps you should be following before every ride:
- Wear a helmet and clothes that will not drag or catch;
- Do your research on how to operate the vehicle and brake beforehand;
- Avoid confusion on the road by planning your route;
- Ride on well maintained and paved roads;
- Avoid the sidewalks when you can;
- If you must go on the sidewalk, avoid sidewalks that are crowded at peak hours;
- Keep your speed low and stay alert to others around you;
- Never swerve in and out of people or traffic;
- Follow the same traffic rules as bikes to avoid confusion; and
- Do not squeeze the throttle if you lose control let go before you exit the vehicle.
New York City and Long Island E-Scooter and E-Bike Accident Attorneys
Our personal injury attorneys at the law firm of Siler & Ingber, have over 20 years of experience serving clients across New York City and Long Island. We protect your rights by maximizing recovery and securing the financial support our clients need to succeed on their road to recovery. Our winning attorneys know how to navigate through the claim process using past experience as insurance defense attorneys. We are not afraid to fight and are fully prepared to take your case to trial to get a justified verdict over settling for less.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident due to the negligence of another, our team at Siler & Ingber is here to help. With a 98% success rate, we have the experience and the know-how to help our clients achieve a favorable outcome. Contact us today at 1-877-529-4343 or schedule an appointment online anytime. We never charge a fee unless we recover money for you.