For the past years, electric scooters are becoming more prevalent in the US market. The emergence of the said technology poses different risks. A lawsuit was filed against companies that sell electric bikes because they are causing accidents across cities.
The Emergence of Electric Scooters
Bird Rides Inc. and Lime brought the electronic scooter revolution in the United States last September. People from more than 100 cities globally utilize them as an eco-friendly form of transportation.
Over the past year, Bird and Lime respectively earned an estimated worth of $2 billion and $3 billion since the introduction of the electronic scooter in the U.S. These companies are two of the newest companies to earn over a billion dollars in Silicon Valley.
The electric scooter trend is controversial. Complaints citing road safety have been filed against different companies. In San Francisco and Santa Monica, the operation of electric scooters is temporarily restricted at the requests of public officials.
Some reports say that residents who owned e-scooters in these US cities have done absurd things. Reports found some scooters were: thrown into bodies of water, burned, and buried.
Data on Accidents
Ever since electric scooters became trendy in the States, hospitals were filled with patients who have been in accidents and incurred injuries.
Nine people filed a lawsuit and claimed that they were injured because of electric scooters. There is no official data with the number of injured patients however, the number of unofficial injuries is increasing. In the last month, three people died in Dallas, Cleveland, and Washington D.C. in electric scooter-related accidents.
According to Bird and Lime, they prioritize public safety over anything else. On the other hand, growing numbers of scooter-related accidents and injuries prove otherwise.
Victor San Andres, victim and online video producer, experienced an accident when he was driving in New York. He said that his scooter’s brake was dysfunctional as he was traveling downhill last June. San Andres ended up with severe cuts on his face, a broken pinky finger and a cracked toenail.
There have been reports of the dangers of stationary scooters as well. Two complainants claimed that injuries were from a collision with an electric scooter parked in their pathway. They lost balance and tripped over it. Four other individuals have been hit as they were walking. All complaints are blamed on the scooter-sharing companies.
Dr. Wally Ghurabi, a doctor from the emergency department of UCLA Medical Center in Santa Monica, stated, “You can break your face, break your nose, break your facial bones, break your skull and bleed inside your skull.” He elaborated on the risks of using electric scooters. He also recalled how plastic surgeons in the hospital are having difficulties in removing asphalt lodged in the patient’s face after accidents.
Filing of the Lawsuit
Last October 19 in Los Angeles County Superior Court, Bird, Lime and their manufacturers, Xiaomi Corp, and Segway Inc., were charged for ignorance. It is said that the companies put their products on the market despite being dangerous.
Catherine Lerer, a lawyer from McGee Lerer firm, said, “These companies are putting profit over safety.” She is the lawyer of three injured people, including a seven-year-old boy. When the lawsuit was made public, 75 more victims of scooter-related accidents reached out to legal professionals.
Bird, as represented by their spokesperson, released a written statement which states, “Class action attorneys with a real interest in improving transportation safety should be focused on reducing the 40,000 deaths caused by cars every year in the U.S.”
Lime, on the other hand, has not given any statement regarding the lawsuit yet. Nonetheless, Taylor Bennett, Lime’s public affairs’ director said that their products are being innovated to meet safety standards. The company is also giving 250,000 helmets to its customers.
Bird and Lime claim that their scooters are safe and cars are the real danger to society.