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Electric scooters are causing a divide in opinion across the country. Some view them as harmless fun and a sustainable, eco-friendly way to commute and others are finding them a nuisance and danger when used in public. Love them or loathe them, they are becoming an increasing sight on UK highways.

   

Our Personal Injury Lawyers at Lamb Brooks explore the current laws around e-scooters and what to do if you find yourself injured after riding one yourself or colliding with an e-scooter in an accident.

   

Are e-scooters illegal?

 

Privately owned e-scooters are illegal to use on public roads, cycle lanes and pavements. This is because they are currently classed as ‘powered transporters’ by the government and fall under the same laws and regulations that apply to all motor vehicles.

   

You can buy e-scooters and ride them on your own private land or garden; however, many people are seen out and about riding them through town centres and residential roads, illegally.

   

When will e-scooters become legal?

 

Government backed rental trials, have been underway in over 30 locations across the UK since the summer of 2020, with more cities added to the list this summer. These trials have been extended until the end of March 2022 to gather evidence before another consultation phase on any changes to the law.

   

You can legally rent electric scooters in cities across the UK including London, Southampton, Bournemouth, Portsmouth, Oxford, Cambridge and Slough.

   

Riders need to be 18 years or over and are required to verify their account by scanning their driving licence or a provisional driving licence when they first log into the app.

   

Dangers of E-Scooters

 

As with all modes of transport, there are a number of risks to take into account when riding one or when in close proximity to e-scooter riders as a pedestrian or motorist.

   
  • The rental trials only ‘recommend’ wearing a helmet, but it is not mandatory. This is similar to the city bike hire schemes.
  • Speeds for the trial rental scooters reach 15.5 mph which is fast enough to cause injury if you were to fall off or collide with one. Privately owned scooters can reach speeds of 30 mph.
  • E-scooters only have one brake which can make it difficult to stop when moving at high speeds.
  • The scooters are nearly silent which can make them trickier to be aware of. There are concerns that e-scooters, along with electric cars could make towns and cities ‘no go areas’ for the blind.
  • Not all models have red rear brake lights, and those that do are not always visible.
  • The lack of indicators can make navigation dangerous for riders and others on the pathways or roads.
  • There is an increased risk that individuals will ride on scooters under the influence of alcohol where they are readily available in city centres, close to bars.
  • Reckless driving, including weaving in and out of traffic or pedestrians, carrying a passenger or listening to music whilst scooting can cause accidents.
  • Riding over potholes, drain covers or hitting curbs could cause painful injuries for e-scooter users.
 

person riding e-scooter on the road accident injury claim solicitors

Accidents & Injuries Involving E-Scooters

 

With private sales increasing and the popularity of the trial rental schemes soaring, it is estimated that there will be 200,000 accidents involving e-scooters by the end of 2021.

   

There have already been a number of tragic cases involving fatalities and serious injuries as a result of e-scooter collisions in the UK.

   

Six people are believed to have died in the UK to date. The first known person in the UK to die from an accident was 35-year-old TV presenter Emily Hartridge who, in July 2019, was killed in a collision with a lorry. A 20-year-old male, suffered multiple injuries, including a fractured skull, two severed arteries, a broken jaw and punctured lungs when his electric scooter was involved in a collision with a car in Wolverhampton last month. Unfortunately, he later passed away from his injuries.

   

In the most recent case, a 3-year-old girl suffered life-altering injuries after being hit by an e-scooter in South London in July 2021.

   

Legal Advice After Injury

 

If you have been involved in an accident and suffered injuries due to the negligence of another person, then you may be entitled to make a claim for compensation.

   

It is important to seek legal advice from a Personal Injury Lawyer as quickly as possible as this is a new, developing area of law.

   

At Lamb Brooks we take on claims on a ‘no win, no fee’ basis to minimise risk to clients seeking justice for their injuries. Our team are happy to discuss your case and upon review can quickly inform you if you have a case to take forward.

   

Speak to our experienced Personal Injury Team on 01256 844888, email us at enquiries@lambbrooks.com or speak to our online chat assistant who can take your details and arrange for a call back at a convenient time.

   

Other Articles You May Be Interested in Reading:

How Much Does a Personal Injury Claim Cost?

Cycling Injury: When Can You Make a Claim

What to do if You Are in a Road Traffic Accident

     

The contents of this article are for the purposes of general awareness only. They do not purport to constitute legal or professional advice.  The law may have changed since this article was published.   Readers should not act on the basis of the information included and should take appropriate professional advice upon their own particular circumstances.