Scooter Safety

Have you ever found yourself in St. Petersburg on a hot, humid evening, wishing there was a fast, cheap way to travel between catching a beautiful sunset near the waterfront to grabbing a drink at your favorite downtown brewery? If a new scooter rental program comes to St. Petersburg, your dreams might just become a reality!

Scooters in St. Pete?

Representatives for the city of St. Petersburg recently voted to begin discussions about implementing a new transportation option for the city: e-scooters! They operate similarly to the tradition scooter of your childhood, but with the added bonus of a motor for faster travel. They have become popular in big cities around the country, from Portland to New York, thanks to programs that allow people to download a rental app, pick up the scooter from a designated location, and then unlocked the scooter through their app. When they are finished, they can return it to another designated location.

The Benefits of Scooters and Ride Sharing

These programs give people a unique option instead of their own vehicle or public transportation. Ride sharing programs are a great way for cities to reduce their carbon footprint. Plus, they provide a healthy and active way for people to travel around their city. With so many environmental and health benefits, it’s no surprise that they’ve taken off in big cities, especially those who want to cut down on heavy traffic.

Still, the new e-scooter programs—and the comeback of scooters in general—bring along some health risks. With the ride sharing programs in particular, helmet use is a major issue. Since people do not own the scooters, they might not have a helmet available for their ride. Helmets do not come with the available e-scooters, and naturally, helmet sharing is not an idea that most people support. This means that many people who are participating in the scooter sharing program are not wearing helmets.

Injury Risks

When riding a bike, motorcycle, scooter, or similar vehicle, helmets are of paramount importance. They reduce the risk of serious head injuries by cushioning the skull and brain in the event of a fall. 75% of fatal head injuries in children would have been prevented by a helmet, according to SafeKidsUSA. Although adult brains might be more developed than children’s, helmets are still just as important for grownups.

While the e-scooter program does not explicitly encourage riders to not use helmets, the nature of the program leads to a lack of helmet use. For example, if someone is headed to the bus stop but sees an available scooter and decides to hop on, their spontaneity means they probably don’t have a helmet with them.

Another scooter issue, both with shared programs and regular use, is traffic and other drivers. Like bikes or skateboards, scooters are much smaller than cars and other vehicles on the roads, which puts them at risk. Drivers might not see them, especially if the driver is distracted, fatigued, or intoxicated. A collision will typically have bigger consequences for the smaller vehicle. If a rider is doing something dangerous, like weaving through traffic, they could also contribute to an accident.

Scooter Safety

If the recent rise in scooter popularity has inspired you to give one a try, here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Always wear a properly-fitting helmet
  • If out at night, wear bright clothing or attach a light to your scooter to make yourself more visible
  • Don’t assume that other vehicles see you
  • Check carefully for vehicles before crossing at an intersection
  • Avoid riding during bad weather conditions, like rain or fog

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The attorneys at Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes represent those involved in car accidents, motorcycle accidents, bicycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, and other types of personal injury matters. Our firm is one of the oldest personal injury law firms in Tampa Bay. There are no attorneys’ fees or costs unless we prevail for you. Call our office 24 hours a day at 727-796-8282 or simply click here to schedule a free case consultation.

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