At the very end of Nov. 2018, Bird scooters began showing up on Lafayette streets. You have probably seen them or people riding them. You may have even tried one out yourself. They are supposed to help people with limited mobility options get out and get to where they need to go with greater ease and in an affordable way. Unfortunately, these electric scooters are known to be dangerous and numerous individuals across the country have been injured in accidents involving these motor vehicles.
How do Bird scooters work? Before you can take one of these scooters, you have to reserve one on the company’s website. A QR code will be sent to your smartphone, then you use that code to unlock the scooter and you are good to go. When you are done, you can leave it literally anywhere. Individuals who are contracted to charge the scooters will collect them at night, recharge the batteries and place them back on street corners for use the following day.
On the Bird company website, there is a video that explains the proper use of the product. Riders are supposed to have valid driver’s licenses and be at least 18 years of age. Riders are encouraged to wear helmets and ride in bike lanes. Riders are also warned to follow traffic laws and watch out for cars and pedestrians. Unfortunately, no one is available to enforce company policies regarding acceptable use.
Numerous news articles have been written regarding the dangers of Bird scooters in other cities where they have been available for a longer period of time. There are stories of pedestrians being run down by Bird riders, of riders falling and hurting themselves, of scooters being left in the middle of walkways and streets, which can contribute to pedestrian and motor vehicle accidents. The company assumes no liability when an accident with one of its scooters occurs. Bird riders who fail to stick around after hurting someone else also seek to avoid responsibility for their actions.
While Bird scooters may still be new to the Lafayette area, accidents involving these motor vehicles are bound to happen — if they haven’t already. Victims of these events may feel there is little they can do to seek compensation for their losses. However, with assistance, they may seek relief through legal means. To learn more, please visit our firm’s website.