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E-scooter vs. pedestrian crashes can cause devastating injuries

On Behalf of | Jul 6, 2024 | Personal Injury

Electric scooters (or e-scooters) are becoming an increasingly popular mode of transportation – from urban areas like New York City to the beachfronts here on the Big Island and throughout Hawaii.

Unfortunately, many of those who use them and those who walk or bike among them underestimate the severity of injuries suffered in collisions involving e-scooters. Pedestrians have been killed by those on e-scooters. Safety advocates and medical professionals have been seeking more and stricter regulations accordingly.

Why are e-scooters so dangerous?

Like e-bicycles, e-scooters can travel at greater speeds than their traditional counterparts. At a minimum, they can travel at 15 to 20 miles per hour. Some can reach twice those speeds. When a e-scooter rider strikes a pedestrian, both can end up with head injuries, broken bones and serious lacerations as well as internal organ damage.

Under Hawaii state law, e-scooters can be ridden on streets. However, riders must abide by the same laws as motorists. There are numerous other regulations governing those who operate e-scooters, such as speed limits, age, number of people who can be on one at once and on reckless operation of them.

Of course, many e-scooter riders here on the Big Island and throughout Hawaii are tourists from outside the state or even outside the country. They may be operating an e-scooter for the first time, while focusing on the scenery rather than where they’re going.

What if you’re injured by someone on an e-scooter?

Even if you don’t believe that you’ve been seriously injured in a collision involving a e-scooter, it’s crucial to get the rider’s name and other information. Don’t assume that they aren’t covered by insurance. Some auto insurance as well as umbrella insurance policies cover people who cause injury to others even if they weren’t driving a vehicle at the time of a collision of any kind.

Don’t agree to a settlement until you’ve sought a medical opinion – especially if you strike your head. You could have a traumatic brain injury (TBI). Some injuries don’t show up right away or get worse instead of better as time goes on. It’s also wise to get legal guidance if you don’t get the name of the person who struck you. There may be other ways the authorities can identify them. It’s also wise to get a legal opinion before agreeing to a settlement to help ensure that you don’t sign away your rights by accepting an unfair offer.