Fort Lauderdale Crash Exposes the Dangers of Electric Scooters

In the first serious accident in South Florida involving the electric scooters that have taken South Florida streets as well as the nation by storm, a Fort Lauderdale woman is in a coma after a crash involving an electric scooter that she was riding on the streets of Fort Lauderdale. A report from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel regarding the accident noted that the initial police report found the woman ran a stop sign, was hit by a Toyota Corolla and sent flying into the air. She landed nearly 25 feet away and has been in lying in a vegetative state in an area hospital with a fractured skull, a severe brain injury and multiple broken ribs. Doctors also had to remove a portion of her skull due to swelling in her brain caused by the trauma from her accident.

This accident reflects the dangers associated with these scooters more generally, which has been reflected in several recent medical studies, but which South Florida had yet to experience until this incident. Several recent studies have shown that electric scooters are particularly dangerous and have resulted in numerous emergency room visits or multiple serious injuries or even death to riders.

Electric Scooters: All the Rage in South Florida and Across the Country 

The electric scooter craze began in Los Angeles, where a number of the major scooter manufacturers are based and came to South Florida later than some other major cities. Since electric scooters were launched in November in Fort Lauderdale, local officials say about 4,000 people a week are riding electric scooters, both downtown and at the beach, provided by the four electric scooter-sharing companies that operate in Fort Lauderdale: Gotcha, Bird, Lime and Bolt.

Electric scooters are virtually noiseless and often riders use them on either the sidewalk or the road, even despite local restrictions which may require drivers to instead operate them only on one or the other. There was even some confusion as to where the vehicles could be ridden in Fort Lauderdale, as city officials seemed to say at first that they could be used on both public roads as well as sidewalks, before local legal officials advised they could only be used lawfully on sidewalks. Given that people also rarely wear helmets when using these vehicles, and they do not come with helmets when a rider rents them through most scooter-sharing apps, it is no surprise at the high incidence of accidents when they are present in large numbers, which is the case in virtually every place the scooters can now be found.

Recent Studies Showing the Dangers of Electric Scooters

According to a study cited in an article from the Washington Post, emergency room visits in Salt Lake City attributable to electric scooters were up by 161 percent since the vehicles were first introduced to the city’s roads little more than two years ago. During the period June to September 2017, eight injuries from e-scooter accidents came through the University of Utah emergency room doors, whereas a year later in 2018 there were 21 incidents.

Consumer Reports (CR) also recently did a study of 110 hospitals nationwide that found at least 1500 emergency room visits since late 2017 occurred as a result of electric scooters. In conducting its study, Consumer Reports contacted 110 hospitals and five agencies in 47 cities where at least one of the two biggest scooter companies, Bird or Lime, operates. CR asked how many patients they have treated for scooter-related injuries, and if they have the capability to track the injuries. Common injuries found by Consumer Reports in its analysis were broken bones, fractures, blunt head trauma and even brain injuries. It further confirmed that four fatalities have been linked to date to electric scooter accidents.

Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue officials have responded to at least 35 electric scooter injuries since the city first authorized their use in November, with the ages of victims ranging from 14 to 62; four of those individuals suffering serious injuries as a result of a collision or crash.

Contact the Experienced Personal Injury Attorneys at Schwed, Adams & McGinley

Electric scooters and their riders are likely only going to become more and more involved in accidents as their use continues to increase both across the country as well as in South Florida. At Schwed, Adams & McGinley, P.A. our experienced personal injury attorneys have more than 150 years of combined legal practice representing victims of motor vehicle and other accidents in Florida. Given the increasing prevalence of electric scooters on the roads of South Florida, accidents in which victims are injured as a result of the scooter-sharing company’s negligence in not providing a helmet to all users or even basic safety lessons are likely to occur. Therefore, if you, a family member or a loved one have been injured or killed as a result of an incident involving an electric scooter, contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at Schwed, Adams & McGinley, P.A today at 877-694-6079 or contact@schwedlawfirm.com for a free consultation.