NYC Injury Lawyer Glenn Herman Analysis on Sharp Rise in E-Bike and E-Scooter Injuries Source Consumer Product Safety Commission
New York Injury News has obtained expert data from Glenn A. Herman who is a subject matter expert for New York Injury News in the area of personal injury cases.
E-scooters and e-bikes have caused 190,000 emergency room visits over the last four years in the United States, according to new data from the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).
The data highlights that micro-mobility vehicle injuries have risen steadily by 70% between 2017 and 2020. In 2017, there were 34,000 e-scooter and e-bike related emergency room visits, while in 2018 there were 44,000, in 2019 there were 54,800, and in 2020 there were 57,800. Much of this rise can be attributed to e-scooters, with e-scooter injuries tripling between 2017 and 2020.
Ongoing data collection has found that at least 71 deaths within the same time frame were caused by e-scooters or e-bikes.
With the introduction of publicly available e-scooters to certain areas of New York City as part of a year-long pilot program for three major micro-mobility companies (Lime, Bird, and VeoRide), the national pattern has been echoed in New York City. In the single year since privately owned e-scooters were legalized for use on the streets of the City, there have been over five hundred injuries, including three deaths.
The CPSC recommends that e-scooter riders always wear a helmet when they ride and always check the vehicles for any damage before riding, but such measures do not protect pedestrians and cyclists, who have been the victims of many New York e-scooter accidents since the program began.
“There are many benefits to the micro-mobility devices that we are seeing more and more of each day on the streets of the City. This includes e-scooters, e-bikes, e-skateboards, e-hoverboards, and a host of battery-propelled devices. The other day, I saw an e-unicycle,” says Glenn A. Herman, a New York City Injury lawyer who handles e-bike and scooter personal injury cases.
“These devices are a pollution-free means to get around and many people are using e-scooters and e-bikes as their primary means of commuting to work since businesses reopened after the Covid 19 shutdown. Many of the food delivery services have been relying exclusively on e-bikes as a means to deliver meals. Many grocery stores, especially the larger chain stores have fleets of e-bikes hauling mini trailers as an environmentally friendly means of transporting their products. These devices are also a great way to see the City and can be very fun to ride. Many avid cyclists, who swore they would never go near an e-bike, have found a special joy in the pedal-assist models.
“At the same time, those of us who live, work, walk, drive, and especially bike, in the City have not yet become accustomed to the surge in these new devices. E-bikes and e-scooters are legal and are permitted to ride in designated bike lanes, on public roads and in public parks where not otherwise prohibited. They can go fast. They are quiet. They often do not have front and rear lights as required by New York City law. They can cause, and do cause injuries. Not just to pedestrians but to the operators of these devices as well. Drivers of cars and trucks are not accustomed to looking for scooter and bike riders in the designated bike lanes when making left turns and injuries are occurring frequently.”
The bottom line is that these devices are here to stay and there will be more and more of them “on the streets each day. So to both the users of these devices and those of us who see them on the streets, we say that just following some simple safety tips can keep everyone out of danger.
To the microbility operators:
(1) Please wear a helmet (always);
(2) Bells & horns;
(3) Lights front and back, the more the better;
(4) Stay 3 feet from car doors that can open into you and;
(5) Go just a little slower.
To the pedestrians and dog walkers:
(1) Look both ways, not once but twice, even when crossing one-way streets, especially when crossing a designated bike lane;
(2) Put down the cellphone when stepping into the street (you can finish your text when it’s safe);
(3) Don’t assume the e-scooter or e-biker coming towards you sees you, prepare to move; and
(4) Remember, it’s a new world of technology, and sometimes we just have to change with the times.
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