San Antonio has joined the list of cities offering electric scooter and wheelchair rentals to tourists, but this can and does sometimes lead to more accidents. On October 30, there was one on North St. Mary’s Street, near College Street, where a man on an electric scooter was hit by a car as he attempted to cross the street against traffic. The tourist’s injuries were relatively minor, but if they had been worse, the driver might be in considerable trouble.
Not Much Info on Scooter Accidents
Because of the relative novelty of the phenomenon, there is not much data on the prevalence of scooter accidents. However, anecdotally, everyone seems to have a story of a scooter injury – falling off, being struck, or something else. There are numerous ways that these scooters can be involved in accidents – the vehicle itself can lock up or fail to respond to the rider, pedestrians can be struck or scooter riders can be struck by passing vehicles. Dockless scooters may also pose accessibility restrictions and/or be unforeseen obstacles, especially at nighttime, given their relatively low profile.
The Texas Transportation Code does regulate scooters, among other similar vehicles, despite their appearing in San Antonio and elsewhere relatively recently. There are specific rules that must be followed by riders and by motorists in relation to those on scooters. Most importantly, the law restricts scooters to being ridden only on streets or highways where the speed limit is 35 mph or less and requires them to be ridden as far to the right as possible (except when making a left turn). The statute holds that municipalities may bar their use on sidewalks, and while no regulations exist yet on this topic in San Antonio, city leaders do plan to restrict their use to roads only.
The accident on North St. Mary’s Street resulted in only minor injuries, but another accident between a scooter and an automobile could result in much worse. Accidents such as these have a lot in common with motorcycle accidents – scooter riders have much higher rates of injury than motorists, simply because of the comparative lack of protection they enjoy. It is very plausible, even common, that car and truck drivers may not see a scooter on the road with them, causing injury to scooter riders, as is common with motorcyclists. Also, liability may result if a motorist does not stop and render aid – failing to stop and help any victims of an accident you cause is a crime under Texas law.
It is, conversely, possible that the rider or even the scooter company may wind up being liable or partially liable for any injuries. The rider on North St. Mary’s Street crossed the street against traffic, according to witnesses, which might be considered reckless or negligent behavior. A scooter company such as Lime or Bird could also be liable if it can be proven that a rider or other person was injured due to scooter malfunction – however, this would be very difficult to prove, especially if no witnesses to an accident were present.
Ask Our Knowledgeable Texas Accident Attorneys for Help
Scooters are great tools to help explore San Antonio, but unless they are ridden carefully, they can also be the cause of accidents and injuries. If you have been in an accident involving an electric scooter, talking to an experienced lawyer can be helpful. The dedicated New Braunfels personal injury lawyers at the Bettersworth Law Firm can sit down with you and try to help answer any questions you may have about your situation. Call us today at 888-392-0039 to schedule an appointment.