Atlanta recently joined major cities across the United States in allowing e-scooter companies to place their equipment in certain parts of the city. Many people in Northern Georgia may be familiar with this latest trend in transportation, in which a pedestrian can get a fast and convenient ride simply by picking up an electronic scooter, paying for it and taking it to his or her destination and then leaving it for the next rider.
However, many people have criticized electronic scooters as a potentially dangerous form of transportation. To this point, Georgia’s largest city has experienced three scooter-related fatalities in the last few months. These tragedies, however, may ultimately not be the fault of either the scooter companies or their patrons. All of these tragedies involved motor vehicle accidents between a person on a scooter and a full-sized vehicle.
In one case, a car struck a woman on a scooter at such a high rate of speed that it sent the woman flying through the air. The woman died after being taken to a hospital. The driver of vehicle that struck her fled the scene of the accident. In another case, a city bus hit and killed a rider who suddenly fell off of his scooter and in to the path of the bus. This accident happened only a few weeks ago. Another accident which happened this spring involved the driver of a vehicle striking and killing a young man on a scooter. The driver said she did not see the rider approaching and could not avoid the collision.
While some city officials advocate tightening restrictions on e-scooters, other say the real problem is that drivers just are not sharing the roads well with pedestrians and those who are choosing to take alternate transportation, including e-scooters or, for that matter, bicycles or other transportation. A person who gets struck while on an e-scooter may have legal options for obtaining compensation from the driver who caused the accident.