One phrase is becoming very popular among the urban transit population in San Antonio, Texas. It’s “if you can ride a bike, you can most definitely ride a scooter.” Hundreds of “motorists” take to local streets on these electric stand-and-ride contraptions each month. This has led to a major increase in rental scooter accidents around San Antonio.
Are electric scooters safe? For fans who ride them, the answer may be a simple, “Of course!” But for pedestrians and motorized vehicle drivers, many insist the answer is no.
From failing to yield the right of way to cars cutting off scooters to turn in front of them, scooters allow many opportunities for hazards to cause problems. But the city is taking strides to create laws to protect drivers, pedestrians, and scooterists.
As on-demand food delivery services such as Uber Eats become more and more popular, so does the use of scooters, especially around the downtown San Antonio area. Two-wheeler Segways are spotted all over DT, making fast food deliveries convenient for local eaters.
Yet, many complain that these commercial scooters drive recklessly through the streets, taking over sidewalks and causing frustration for pedestrians. But as many of these electric cyclists will tell you, sometimes the sidewalk is the only place for them to ride safely. They face many dangers when riding in the streets, such as:
Few streets accommodate motor scooters in San Antonio, so riders often have to navigate through traffic. Yet, they are good for the environment, convenient to park and ride, and much more affordable than gassing up a car every day.
In December 2017, two more rental scooter companies applied to operate in San Antonio, taking the count up to seven. This led to an increase in complaints and injuries locally, and a need for more regulation. In October 2018, the City of San Antonio launched a 6-month pilot program for local dockless scooter companies. It set some ground rules for riding in the area including:
Such rules help make the road safer. But it’s up to riders and drivers to follow them to keep incidents down.
The big boom in scooters led to a major increase in e-scooter accidents in San Antonio. Between July and December 2018 alone, the local fire department received reports of over 70 injuries related to dockless scooters. And this only counts situations where ambulances had to transport injured persons to hospitals.
Here are five of the most common scooter-related dangers that cause accidents:
Scooter accidents commonly occur when a rider has to swerve to avoid running into a pedestrian, car, cyclist or another scooter. They must share the streets with vehicles, bike lanes with bikes and sidewalks with pedestrians. That may lead to a lot of swerving, in attempt to keep everyone safe.
One of the leading causes of accidents related to bicycles is known as dooring. For both bicyclists and scooterists, this is when people in cars open their doors suddenly, just as the gadget is rolling by. This leads to running into doors, which can cause serious injuries.
Some e-scooters can reach up to 15 mph, which is pretty fast for pedestrians to dodge on the sidewalk. The City of San Antonio gets numerous complaints about unsafe scooter drivers from pedestrians. These types of accidents can injure pedestrians, scooterists, and surrounding motorists.
Another danger for scooterists is objects obstructing the road. Potholes are a common hazard; even the smallest pothole can affect a scooter’s small wheels. Other such hazards include leftover construction debris and fallen tree branches.
Cars and trucks can be safety nightmares for electric scooter riders. When in traffic, these fast-moving vehicles overpower smaller contraptions. Even when riding on sidewalks and in bike lanes, motor vehicles tend to cut riders off, causing injuries that lead to claims.
If you’ve been involved in a scooter incident in San Antonio, you have the legal right to file a claim. The Villareal & Begum Law Firm is your local rental scooter accidents law firm, and we have a track record of success helping wrongfully injured clients secure the compensation they deserve. Contact our attorneys about your personal injury claim today.