Shareable electric scooters have proliferated across the nation, and have officially made their arrival in Tampa with e-scooter companies the likes of Spin, Lime, Bird, and Jump to deploy thousands of pay-per-minute scooters in the coming weeks.
Though the new transportation option is welcomed by many who enjoy the convenience and fun e-scooters may offer, several problems and safety concerns are already beginning to surface.
E-Scooters in Tampa Bay
As reported by the Tampa Bay Times, e-scooters made their arrival on local streets and sidewalks during the Memorial Day weekend. While such scooters have been in place in cities across the nation for some time, Tampa took a bit longer to launch a 1-year pilot program that will permit up to 2,400 scooters to operate around the city.
For now, riders are only allowed to use e-scooters on sidewalks, but that could change should Gov. DeSantis sign legislation to allow scooters on streets and bike paths, while still allowing local government to make decisions about where to ride within their borders.
Even though there have been just two companies(Spin and Bird) to launch scooters in Tampa – with Lime and Jump pilot-program-approved to launch in the coming weeks – the shareable scooters that reach speeds of up to 15 mph have already reported thousands of trips. That includes trips from all over the city, though Tampa has implemented a number of no-ride zones where e-scooters are banned – including Bayshore Boulevard, the Riverwalk, and East Seventh St. in Ybor City.
In their first weekend in Tampa alone, scooters were already the target of several complaints and concerns, including
- A complaint from Ybor City of people riding e-scooters in banned areas.
- Complaints of abandoned or haphazardly parked e-scooters in hazardous locations;
- Scooter riders blocking walkways or traffic;
- Motorists failing to see riders entering or within intersections / at turns.
E-Scooter Accident & Injury Risks
While scooter companies work on addressing some of the issues raised by the complaints, the fact remains that e-scooters can pose numerous risks to riders, pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorists. Some of these risks include:
- Defective products / unsafe scooters that malfunction while in use;
- Trip and fall hazards created by abandoned scooters;
- Roadway defects, walkway, and sidewalk hazards (premises liability);
- Intersection and crosswalk accidents;
- Pedestrian accidents and bicycle accidents;
- Car accidents or truck accidents involving negligent motorists who fail to see riders or commit other traffic violations.
As scooters ingratiate themselves into the daily hustle and bustle of Tampa’s transportation system, risks of accidents and what can be serious injuries – including brain injuries, neck and back injuries, and broken bones – will always exist, especially when riders or others sharing the road and walkways are negligent, and fail to uphold their obligations for exerting a reasonable amount of care.
At Robert Sparks Attorneys, our personal injury team has recovered millions of dollars in compensation for victims and families who have suffered damages as a result of others’ negligent or wrongful acts. For anyone involved in an accident involving a shareable e-scooter, our attorneys know the novelty of e-scooters and the new and evolving laws surrounding them could very well create challenges in victims’ fight for compensation. It’s why we’re readily available to help victims and their loved ones navigate their legal journeys.
If you or someone you love need help after a preventable injury anywhere in Tampa or the surrounding areas of Florida, call (813) 336-3348 or contact us online. Robert Sparks Attorneys offers free consultations, and handles personal injury cases on contingency fees – which means there’s no fee unless we win your case.