Electric Scooters in downtown Denver

Posted Fri 12th Oct, 2018 | by | on Accident Law Firm, Legal Insights, Personal Injury | Bird scooters, denver, downtown Denver, electric scooters, Lime Scooters, personal injury, Personal Injury Lawyer, Razor Scooters

DENVER, CO – May 25: Denver City Councilman Jolon Clark is test riding Lime’s electric scooter. Bikeshare company Lime released a fleet of dockless, electric scooters in Denver. The scooters can be unlocked via app for $1and cost 15 cents per minute to use. May 25, 2018. (Photo by Hyoung Chang/The Denver Post)

If you have been around Denver recently, you’ve probably noticed people riding the electric scooters now available for rent in the downtown area. While these scooters are a great way for people to get places faster as well as help the environment, they come with risks. These scooters can go around 15 to 20 mph. That may seem slow at first, but it is fast enough to cause many injuries. These scooters are a great addition to Denver, but in order to be as safe as possible, there are a couple things you should know.

If you are not planning on riding an electric scooter, then just be aware of your surroundings when walking and don’t step out in front of a scooter. If you are planning on riding a scooter, then you need to be a little more careful. First and foremost, wear a helmet. Most companies that provide these electric scooters offer helmets as well. Wearing a helmet reduces the risk of major head injuries. However, the most commonly reported injuries have to do with your hands and wrists. Since, these scooters can go reasonably fast, you can crash and fall. When this happens, people catch themselves and end up in urgent care with a broken wrist or fingers. Another influencer of these injuries is alcohol. The use of alcohol and marijuana will hinder your ability to ride the scooters safely. So, in order to stay safe while riding these electric scooters, stay at a slower speed when riding, don’t ride under the influence of alcohol or marijuana, and always wear a helmet.

You may ask, “Why not just ride them on the street?” Well, that would be safer for pedestrians, but Denver law is tricky. Electric scooters are considered toy vehicles. Which means, by Denver law, they are prohibited from streets and must be ridden on the sidewalk. The city understands the problems with this and are looking for solutions. Some of these involve using bike lanes and the creation of a separate lane which might be difficult to navigate. So, if you are riding these scooters, keep up with the current laws surrounding where you can ride them because they will likely change. This will also help to keep you, and the people around you, safe. In the meantime, while riding on the sidewalks, be careful of the people around you. Because you are on the sidewalk, people may step out in front of you or be walking in large groups that you can’t get around. There have been cases of fights that occurred because of accidents involving the electric scooter riders hitting, or nearly hitting, pedestrians. So, in order to avoid this, go around corners slowly and be aware of your speed when around pedestrians.

These scooters are a great addition to Denver, but whenever new things are introduced, injuries are bound to happen. So, with the more scooters coming in 2019, bear with the city of Denver until they get it running smoothly. But until that day comes, stay safe. 

If you or a loved one is injured as a result of an electric scooter accident, please call the attorneys at Kidneigh & Kaufman, P.C.