Both Bird and Lime scooters have become increasingly popular in areas like San Diego and Nashville as they are affordable and easy to rent. As convenient as the scooters are, both lawmakers and personal injury attorneys have begun to see the threat they pose to drivers, pedestrians, and the riders themselves. Accidents involving the electric scooters seem to be occurring more and more, some minor and some even fatal. NBC San Diego 7 recently reported on one incident that transpired in Chula Vista involving a vehicle and a Bird scooter rider.
The news source said that on Saturday, December 22nd, police were dispatched to an accident at around 4:00 a.m. after a vehicle struck the rider along Third Avenue near Quintard Street. When officers arrived at the scene, they could only describe what they saw as “gruesome.” “The Bird scooter was in pieces—a wheel and handlebars strewn across the street.” The vehicle that hit the rider had been pulled over to the side of the road with a crumpled hood and a shattered front windshield. The source said the rider was “bloodied and unconscious” lying in the street near a Jack-in-the-Box restaurant.
Although the officers who arrived at the accident scene administered CPR to the victim and were able to get his pulse back, he later passed away from his injuries after being rushed to an area hospital.
The news outlet reported that the driver remained at the scene until police arrived and was “understandably shaken.” They told the responding officers that they had been heading south on Third Avenue and had the green light. That’s when the rider on the Bird scooter “came out of nowhere” and was hit from behind. Officials did not suspect that the motorist was intoxicated nor had they been speeding. After the tragic accident occurred, Sgt. Joe Picone with the Chula Vista Police Department said that “accidents like this serve as a reminder to take extra caution if you’re riding an electric scooter – especially when it’s dark outside.”
That fatal incident had been the second of its kind that police responded to in San Diego County that night. The accident that occurred prior to this one involved two individuals who had been riding on a Bird scooter together. The operator lost control and crashed along University Avenue in Hillcrest. As a result of the crash, a 42-year-old woman suffered a severe head injury although the second rider was uninjured. Police determined that the woman was not wearing a helmet while riding and both occupants had been drinking just before the crash.
Tips for Safely Operating a Bird Scooter
Because of the increase in the number of accidents that have been happening with electric scooters, those who choose to rent one should keep the following safety tips that Bird offers in mind:
- Never ride on sidewalks as it “endangers members of [the] community who want to walk freely.”
- When riding, always ride in a bike lane or close to the right curb.
- Always wear a helmet while riding. Whether you decide to buy your own or order one through Bird, you need to be protecting your head. Bird does offer free helmets to its riders as long as you pay the shipping costs to receive it.
- Individuals who are 18 years of age and older are permitted to ride and only one person can ride on a scooter at a time.
- Be sure to use caution at crosswalks.
- Always follow all traffic rules including street signs and stop signs.
- Be aware of surrounding traffic, especially when passing through intersections.
- Don’t ride with one hand and only travel at a speed you feel comfortable with.
- Avoid riding if you have consumed any amount of alcohol.
Involved in an accident in San Diego, CA while riding a Bird or Lime scooter?
If you answered yes, then it is important that you meet with a San Diego, CA personal injury lawyer at Jeffrey E. Estes & Associates immediately. Although liability generally falls on the rider, you may be able to recover compensation for the injuries you sustained if you can prove another individual caused the accident or the scooter itself was defective. One woman recently filed suit against Bird claiming the brakes didn’t work on the scooter she rented in downtown San Diego. As a result of the faulty brakes, she “took a tumble and suffered a cut to her face, road rash, and injuries to her knee and toe.”
So, if you would like to find out if you have a viable case on your hands and how much it might be worth, contact our office today by calling 619-233-8021 to speak with one of our knowledgeable lawyers.
Jeffrey E. Estes & Associates can be reached at:
501 West Broadway, Suite 1650
San Diego, CA 92101