After a pandemic-related ban, rentable e-scooters are returning to Miami. The ban was lifted in September of 2020, and now thousands of e-scooters are returning to the city. The city is allowing a maximum scooter fleet of 2,700 for now but may increase that number down the road. The scooters will come from five companies—Bird, Lime, Lyft, Spin, and Helbiz—which is down from the original nine companies that operated in the city. It is believed that the decrease is a result of fewer scooters having been on the road prior to the pandemic.
What Does That Mean for the City?
Now that e-scooters are allowed once again, a new rule has been put into place. All scooters must be equipped with disinfectant. Many scooters have also been equipped with antimicrobial handles. In addition, the program that is operating is currently a six-month pilot program. The city must prepare a request-for-proposal that would allow the programs to remain permanently. The scooters allow for a convenient, socially distanced form of transportation that can be an alternative to public transportation.
E-scooters returning to the streets means that pedestrians and drivers who have become accustomed to operating without them will now once again have to be vigilant. In addition, the city must be prepared for more scooter-related injuries. There is still no requirement that scooter riders wear helmets, although the companies encourage helmet use. In addition, no safety course is provided for riders to instruct them on the safe use of the e-scooters.
Prior to the pandemic, e-scooter accidents spiked nationwide. Almost 3,300 patients were admitted to the hospital for scooter-related injuries between 2014 and 2018, an over 300% increase. Most of these injuries involved head injuries, which are a common result of scooter accidents. Fractures are the most common types of injuries sustained.
Causes of Scooter Accidents
The causes of e-scooter accidents vary. A recent study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) found that most riders cited potholes and signposts as the most common cause of injuries. About 13% of accidents were the result of motor vehicle crashes. It is still not clear whether scooters are safer on the road or on sidewalks. Riding on sidewalks puts pedestrians at risk of injury while riding in the roadway subjects riders to a risk of more serious injuries.
Contact a Florida Accident Attorney
If you’ve been injured in a scooter accident, you should consult with an experienced accident attorney. Gregg Goldfarb has been helping accident victims for over 25 years. Contact us online or call us at 305-374-7000 to schedule a free consultation.