03 Jun 2024

Scooting Hazards: Deadly scooter accidents in Central Florida are spiking major concern

Posted By Darrigo & Diaz

Scooter accidents in Central Florida are major concern

A string of deadly scooter accidents in Central Florida is sparking major concern for residents and policymakers. Last year, the number of scooter accidents in Tampa increased by 13%, with a total of 229 incidents reported. In 2024, that number is expected to rise.

E-scooters have become increasingly popular in Tampa. We’ve all seen them strewn around downtown and other high-traffic neighborhoods, such as Ybor City Historic District and Westshore. These dockless, electric-powered scooters offer a convenient and cheap way to travel short distances. They are especially popular among teenagers, college students, and tourists. However, reports indicate that these e-scooters are extremely dangerous.

Why are e-scooters dangerous? 

The rapid proliferation of e-scooter rental companies in Central Florida has outpaced regulatory measures, leading to a lack of clear guidelines for riders. As a result, the operation of e-scooters can be dangerous. Here are a few reasons why:

  • – Riders are not required to wear helmets. Scooter accident reports reveal head trauma to be one of the most common and serious injuries.
  • – There is no weight or age restriction for riders. This means children can operate these e-scooters without any formal training on how to navigate roadways.
  • – The design and manufacturing of the scooters is also a major concern. A 2019 study found that nearly half of individuals involved in e-scooter accidents blamed road conditions, such as potholes. E-scooter wheels do little to protect against poor roads.
  • – Many rental companies require that their e-scooters stay within a particular geographic area. E-scooters that cross that line will cease functioning. The problem is that riders are often given little, if any, warning that they’re approaching the scooter’s limit, and e-scooters may stop suddenly.
  • – A 2022 study compared injury and accident rates between bicyclists and scooter riders. The researchers found that 40 percent of e-scooter accidents involved an intoxicated rider. Florida’s DUI laws cover e-scooters, but for a civil lawsuit, intoxication may make it more difficult to claim damages or argue that another party was negligent.

Tips to prevent scooter accidents in Central Florida

As injury attorneys who have witnessed how dangerous scooters are to riders, pedestrians, and drivers, we advise everyone to not operate e-scooters. However, here are a few tips for everyone (scooter operators, pedestrians, and drivers) to help prevent scooter accidents.

For Scooter Operators:

  • Wear a helmet: We know this is wishful thinking, but if you are planning on operating an e-scooter, we strongly advise you to bring a helmet to wear.
  • Inspect the scooter: Before riding, inspect the e-scooter for any signs of damage or malfunction. Check the brakes, tires, and lights to ensure they are in good working condition.
  • Know the laws: Familiarize yourself with local traffic laws and regulations regarding e-scooter usage. Obey speed limits, yield to pedestrians, and use designated bike lanes when available.
  • Start slowly: If you’re new to riding e-scooters, start slowly and practice in a safe, open area before venturing into traffic.
  • Never operate a scooter while drinking: Just like driving a car, operating an e-scooter while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is dangerous and illegal. Always ride sober.
  • Use hand signals: Signal your intentions to other road users by using hand signals when turning or stopping.

For Pedestrians and Drivers:

  • Stay alert: Always be aware of your surroundings, especially in urban areas where e-scooters may be present. Avoid distractions such as texting or listening to music while walking or driving.
  • Yield to e-scooters: Be mindful of e-scooters approaching from behind and yield the right of way to them when crossing paths. Even if you have the right away, it’s always best to wait to make sure the scooter operator sees you and knows what you are doing. Avoid sudden movements that could startle riders.
  • Give space: When passing e-scooters on the road, give them plenty of space and slow down if necessary. Respect their right to share the road.
  • Check blind spots: Be vigilant about checking your blind spots, especially when turning or changing lanes, to avoid colliding with e-scooters.

Injured in a scooter accident in Central Florida?

Call the Florida Accident Attorneys at Darrigo & Diaz for a free consultation at (813) 774-3341

If you or a loved one suffered serious injuries as a result of an electric scooter accident in Tampa, we are ready to put our resources, experience, and unrivalled accident expertise to work for you and your family. We understand the seriousness of scooter accidents and we can help protect your family’s future.

We are here to help you. Contact us immediately through our secured contact form. Or call our office at (813) 774-3341 to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation and connect with an experienced and knowledgeable accident lawyer.

Categories: Safety Tips
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