A recent entrant into the electric scooter market comes in the form of Bolt, a company founded by Olympian Usain Bolt, that is currently distributing e-scooters in cities like Memphis, Tennessee. Unlike most alternatives, Bolt scooters are free to unlock, generating fees based only on the amount of time they are ridden. Also unlike alternatives already on the market, they have unique butterfly-folding footrests around a sturdy central chassis, producing an extremely low center of gravity and a generally more stable ride. This is not to say however, that these scooters can’t crash. Scooter accidents are on the rise and Bolt scooters are no exception. If you’ve been involved in a scooter collision, don’t hesitate to connect with an experienced Memphis, TN scooter accident lawyer from Wiseman Bray PLLC to explore your legal options. The more quickly you act, the more fully our Memphis, TN personal injury lawyer team can work to protect your interests.
Avoiding Scooter Accidents – When Possible
Riders can avoid hazards by exercising care and caution while riding. Bolt recommends that all users wear protective helmets, though few do in practice. Anyone using an electric scooter should examine local ordinances to determine whether the scooter should properly be used on sidewalks, bicycle lanes, or roadways. Riding an electric scooter in an unlawful fashion may result not only in citations or fines, but in a loss of a claim to damages in the event of an accident.
In order to avoid accidents, riders should be aware of their surroundings at all times. It is dangerous (and poor riding etiquette) to ride with headphones or talk on a cellphone while riding. Users should avoid making sudden changes in direction or pulling off into the street abruptly. Because the scooters are all-electric and mostly silent, pedestrians may not realize that a scooter is approaching and can step suddenly into its path. Accordingly, riders should be prepared to slow down when approaching pedestrians if they are operating their scooter on a sidewalk.
Before using a Bolt scooter, riders should inspect it carefully to make certain there are no defects or problems which may make it unsafe. The front-wheel should turn smoothly and easily, without grinding or catching at any point. The post for the handlebars should be firmly seated without any give or flexibility. The petal footrests should both extend the same distance without bending or angling below a level plane, and both wheels should appear to have the same level of inflation. Riders should look for signs that the vehicle has been in an accident, like dents, excessive scuffing, or a warped frame. It is never safe to assume that a scooter has not been in an accident, as some accidents may go unreported.
A scooter rider is completely unprotected in an accident involving a large motor vehicle, so it is critical to use caution. Crossing only with lights and keeping a lockout for turning vehicles can help to avoid a serious or even fatal crash. When a crash does happen, a Memphis, TN scooter accident lawyer can help piece together what happened and ensure that the rider’s rights are protected. You may be hesitant to connect with a Memphis, TN scooter accident lawyer, especially if you believe that the accident you were involved in was partially your fault. However, it is important to avoid making assumptions about your legal situation until you’ve spoken with a professional. You may be entitled to compensation, even if you don’t think that this is a possibility under your unique circumstances.