COVID-19 restrictions continue to increase demand for bicycles, scooters, and e-vehicles. Purchases have reached record highs and an increasing number of rental options are also reporting high demand throughout South Florida.
The Governor’s Highway Safety Association is among the organizations highlighting the increased need for bicycle and e-scooter safety campaigns amid the coronavirus pandemic. This is true in vacation and resort locations like Southwest Florida, and in large urban centers where residents continue to flee the subway and other public transportation options, in favor of bicycles and scooters.
Our injury lawyers in Cape Coral and Fort Myers continue to see an increase in the number of incidents involving pedestrians, bicyclists and scooters. This was true even before the pandemic’s social distancing restrictions increased the popularity of such open-air independent and environmental friendly modes of transportation.
Bicycle and Scooter Injuries in SWFL
The growing trend in micro mobility will require a broad spectrum of safety initiatives to be instituted or accelerated.
“Personal transportation device use will likely grow as wary commuters avoid public transit during the pandemic, requiring education, infrastructure investment, improved data collection and enforcement to protect road users,” the Governor’s Association reported.
A growing number of rental units have driven the increase. The number of shared trips on micro mobility devices increased to 84 million in 2018, double what had been reported the previous year, according to federal data.
With growing demand comes growing risks that will require a comprehensive response, including:
Oversight: Laws will need to be enacted and enforced to help ensure the rights and safety of riders.
Funding: For infrastructure, safety campaigns and enforcement.
Data: Data collection will play a critical role in determining effectiveness of response as accidents and injuries involving these vehicles are a relatively new traffic safety issue.
Infrastructure: Southwest Florida, in particular, has been an area that has struggled to keep up with the basic infrastructure demands of walkers and cyclists. The presence of an increasing number of e-scooters will further complicate the issue.
E-Bike and Scooter Injury Claims
Our injury attorneys throughout Southwest Florida have focused significant resources on public-safety efforts and personal injury and wrongful death representation of our most vulnerable road users, including motorcycle riders, bicyclists and pedestrians.
We will continue to provide the same aggressive, experienced legal help for those injured in e-scooter and rental vehicle accidents. Like other vulnerable road users, E-bike-related injuries are nearly three times more likely to be the result of a collision with a motor vehicle and severe enough to require hospitalization, the report stated.
Many of these rental companies require riders to sign liability waivers. While these can complicate a legal claim, waivers do not absolve rental companies of liability for many of the claims arising from rental and use, particularly when negligence results in injury or financial losses. However, it’s another reason why these claims should be handled by a law firm with extensive litigation experience.
If you or a loved one is injured, call Associates and Bruce L. Scheiner, Attorneys for the Injured, at 1-800-646-1210.