Rental E-Scooters: A Solution to “the Last Mile” Problem or a Public Safety Nightmare?


Many emergency room doctors will remember 2018 as the year of the electric scooter. It started in March, when several tech companies began flooding cities across the U.S. with the cheap, convenient transportation solution. Thousands hit the streets and sidewalks, almost entirely unregulated in most cities. Rental e-scooters were an instant hit, appealing to a broader audience than rental bikes, and they left cities scrambling to deal with safety and nuisance issues. Emergencies rooms are seeing anywhere from 10 injuries a month to 10 a day, depending on the city.

How Bad Is It?

There is no official tracking of accident numbers for rental e-scooters, yet. CNET estimates that could be as many as 1,000 a month in the U.S. What we do know is that the problem has become so bad that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is sending three epidemiologists to Austin to study injuries there. And many of the injuries are serious. There have been fatal accidents. Those who survive are often left with brain injuries and other permanently disabling injuries.

In addition to crashes, e-scooters pose problems for pedestrians and businesses as riders leave them lying around on sidewalks, blocking doorways and wheelchair ramps.

Why So Many E-Scooter Accidents?

There are many reasons why e-scooter renters are crashing. The illusion of ease and safety certainly contributes. Some reasons the rented e-scooters crash include:

  • Lack of basic safety instruction for renters
  • Constant wear and tear on the e-scooters combined with lack of pre-trip inspections
  • Damage caused by vandals
  • Inadequate maintenance
  • Defective scooters

If you or someone you love has been seriously injured on or by a rented e-scooter, please talk to an experienced motor vehicle accident attorney right away.

Avatar About Sandra Dalton

With a background as a paralegal, focusing on criminal defense and civil rights, Sandra Dalton launched her freelance writing career in 2000 with a weekly column on Freedom for Suite 101 and pro bono projects for individuals and organizations supporting causes close to her heart. One of her first projects was for the Police Compliant Center writing about police misconduct. Sandra’s legal writing quickly expanded to include personal injury, animal welfare, criminal defense, disability discrimination, family law and much more.