Getting around in major U.S. cities can be a hassle. Governments are constantly trying to minimize traffic congestion and parking problems while maintaining the roads in a state of good repair. They want to ensure that their goals for transportation, including moving people efficiently, reducing pollutants, and minimizing transportation-related accidents, are being met.
One way cities are attempting to meet these goals is to get people to use alternative forms of transportation. The latest entrant into the alternative transportation arena is the electric scooter (e-scooter). These motorized scooters can go up to 15 miles per hour and can usually travel about 10 miles per charge. It can take a few hours to recharge the scooter.
Portland, Oregon Initiates E-Scooter Pilot Program
The city of Portland is studying the addition of e-scooters to its transportation options and has allowed scooter companies to provide 2,000 scooters for rent in the city. Part of the study is a public education campaign regarding use of the e-scooters, including informing the public that they are required to wear helmets while riding. Both the city and scooter companies are giving out free helmets.
In Portland, the scooters are being used regularly. However, riders are seldom wearing helmets. Use of helmets is not a simple issue. E-scooter rental stations are not equipped with helmets for rent. Most people would balk at using a shared helmet for sanitary reasons. Yet, carrying around a helmet “just in case” can be a serious deterrent to users.
Sharing the Road Safely
Our roads were not designed with multi-modal transportation in mind. Accordingly, lanes dedicated to bicycles or scooters do not currently exist. This means drivers of cars, riders of scooters, and pedestrians need to figure out how to share the road. There is a learning curve for all. Riders need to get used to acceleration and a low center of gravity when operating the scooter and figure out how to travel near cars and around pedestrians. Drivers need to get used to seeing a rider and being able to anticipate their movements in order to avoid crashes. Pedestrians need to understand how fast e-scooters can go and act accordingly to avoid being struck. Accidents involving e-scooters are being recorded. Some serious injuries have resulted, including broken bones and punctured lungs.
Identifying Problem Areas
An important part of pilot studies is to gather data to analyze program performance and viability. A collaborative group in San Francisco has developed database management and mapping techniques to track transportation-related injuries. The system has identified high injury corridors where investments can be targeted to reduce risk.
Chances are there will be a trade-off between getting more people to stop using their car (thus reducing congestion) and an increase in injuries from accidents involving e-scooters and bicycles. The tricky question will be determining the public policy balance that best provides for the public health and safety.
Columbia Car Accident Lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. Obtain Maximum Compensation for Injured Accident Victims
If you have been involved in an e-scooter or other transportation-related accident, our skilled Columbia car accident lawyers will evaluate your case and represent you in court. Contact Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. by calling 803-929-3600 or 866-881-8623 to schedule a free consultation. You can also contact us online.
From our six offices in South Carolina, we represent clients in Columbia, Aiken, Camden, Sumter, Orangeburg, Greenville, Florence, Beaufort, Irmo, Spartanburg, Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head Island, West Columbia, Rock Hill, Charleston, Lexington, Winnsboro, Summerville, and throughout the areas of Lexington County, Richland County, Sumter County, Charleston County, Aiken County, Florence County, Lancaster County, York County, Spartanburg County, Orangeburg County, Kershaw County, and Newberry County.