Electric scooters have taken the country by storm. Unfortunately, scooters aren’t always the safest choice of transportation. Scooter-related accidents have increased significantly across San Diego since companies like Bird introduced the trendy vehicles. Riders have reported a wide range of injuries, from bruises to broken bones to brain damage.
Riders who have been using recreational vehicles for years have even been injured while riding a scooter. Brandon Nelson, a 32-year-old San Diego firefighter, was recently injured when his scooter hit a bump in the road. He was thrown from the scooter and suffered a serious head injury. He noted that another scooter victim was carted into the trauma wing of the hospital with a brain bleed while he was being treated.
Causes of Scooter Accidents in San Diego
Why are scooter accidents happening so frequently in San Diego? There are a few factors that can contribute to accidents and the severity of victims’ injuries.
No Dedicated Place to Ride
There are few clear-cut rules about how and where scooters must be operated within San Diego. It would make the most sense for scooters to operate in dedicated bike lanes. While the city has plans to expand bike infrastructure, it has not yet begun the process. As a result, there are few places for scooters to operate safely in the city. When operated on sidewalks, pedestrians can be hazardous. When operated on the road, cars are the biggest threat to scooter riders.
Scooter operators have to use caution and common sense. It’s vital to follow local laws, obey signs and traffic signals, and communicate with others on the road. Scooters are often seen as a form of recreation, rather than a form of transportation. As a result, riders fail to do these things. Many scooter accidents have been reportedly caused because riders:
- Take over sidewalks
- Weave through traffic
- Ride against the flow of traffic
- Pass through intersections against the light or without looking, and
- Operate the scooter while drunk.
Anyone riding a scooter has an obligation to make sure that others on the road are safe. When riders are negligent, serious accidents are more likely to happen.
Despite being an experienced motocross and dirt bike rider, the San Diego firefighter was seriously injured when he was thrown from an electric scooter. Why? He wasn’t wearing a helmet. He explained that helmets are common sense for safety when you’re using recreational vehicles, but “with the scooters, you’re wearing whatever you wore to dinner.”
California law doesn’t require riders to wear a helmet. Scooter companies also don’t currently provide helmets. It would be up to the rider to have their own. If you’re like Brandon Nelson, you probably didn’t bring one to you with dinner. Scooters seem innocent enough and unlikely to cause harm. This, however, couldn’t be further from the truth.
Dangerous Road Conditions
Scooters are operated all across San Diego. Unfortunately, any hazards or dangerous road conditions could contribute to an accident. Brandon Nelson, the San Diego fireman, was thrown from his scooter when it hit a defect in the road. Hazards likely to cause scooter accidents could include:
- Leaves, twigs, and branches
- Cracks and imperfections in the road and sidewalk, and
- Uneven road surfaces.
Government agencies responsible for maintenance of the road could be liable for damage caused by scooter accidents. The government must address and/or warn the public of any known hazards.
Common Scooter Accident Injuries
Scooter accidents can be devastating. Injuries are often severe because riders do not wear proper safety equipment. Commonly reported scooter-related injuries in San Diego include:
There has been at least one confirmed scooter accident death. A 24-year-old man in Texas was killed when he suffered severe brain injuries in a scooter accident. Since scooter accidents are happening more frequently in San Diego, it’s possible that crashes may soon be fatal here, as well.
Do you want to learn more about scooter accidents in San Diego? Have you been injured in a crash, yourself? Contact Injury Trial Lawyers for help. Our personal injury lawyers can help you understand your rights and options.
Injury Trial Lawyers
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San Diego, CA 92101