Government Studies Scooter Safety

 

CDC Looking at Dockless Scooters

 

Studies Scooter SafetySurprising even industry analysts, dockless scooters have become the rage in municipalities across the country, with industry leaders Bird and Lime making their motorized crafts available in more than a hundred cities in just over a year. With the proliferation of scooters, though, officials have seen a dramatic rise in scooter accidents, some involving serious injury and even death. The federal government has now decided to take a closer look at safety issues tied to the devices.

The Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC), headquarted in Atlanta, announced earlier this week that it will be investigating health and safety risks associated with the motorized bikes. The study will look at usage and crash statistics in Austin, Texas. Officials plan to examine emergency room data and EMS calls from a 90 day period, running from September through November of 2018. They’ll be investigating the causes of scooter accidents and seeking to identify preventive safety measures.

Concerns have mounted nationwide as the number of scooter-related injuries has spiked. A hospital in Salt Lake City reported a 161% increase in scooter-related trauma in just a year. Riders have died in motor vehicle accidents across the country, including Washington, DC and Dallas.

Concerns about the safety of scooters has led many cities to curtail usage, including San Francisco, where officials issued a temporary ban, then issued operating licenses to only two companies. Santa Monica officials have also struggled to accommodate the low-speed vehicles, identifying specific sections along city streets designated for scooter parking.

Contact Our Offices

At Weber & Nierenberg, we offer more than three decades of collective legal experience to people who suffered any type of personal injury in California, including individuals hurt in scooter accidents. We will take the time to learn exactly what happened to you, as well as what you need to fully compensate you for your losses. For a free initial consultation, Contact our office online or call 1-866-288-6010 to schedule an appointment with an experienced California motorcycle/scooter accident lawyer.

Happy Holidays from Weber & Nierenberg

Weber & NierenbergThe trust you place in us is a gift, and we are grateful. We wish you all the gifts of the season and a peaceful, prosperous new year.

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving 2018

At this time of year, we stop to give thanks: for our friends and families, for meaningful work, and for valued clients like you. We are truly grateful that you choose to work with us and we are dedicated to helping you achieve your goals.

We wish you all the blessings of a peaceful holiday with those you love. Happy Thanksgiving!

Bird Files Lawsuit Against Beverly Hills

 

E-Scooter Company Seeks to Overturn Ban on Rental Scooters

Beverly-HillsMotorized scooter pioneer Bird has brought legal action in Los Angeles Superior Court, asking the tribunal to strike down a ban on the bikes enacted by the city of Beverly Hills six months ago. In the wake of the ban, the city has impounded more than 1,000 scooters. Calling any ban in California “illegal,” Bird’s chief legal officer promised a progressive review of bans imposed in other cities across the Golden State.

Bird has seen the demand for its motorized bikes skyrocket in California in the last 12 months, but the company has encountered repeated challenges from cities that were unprepared for the onslaught. In addition to Beverly Hills, other cities that have taken action to ban the scooters include Ventura, West Hollywood and El Segundo.

On the other hand, a number of municipalities, including Long Beach, Los Angeles and Santa Monica, have developed pilot programs that allow the motorized scooters on city streets. However, those ordinances require that Bird and other scooter companies obey parking laws and share data with the cities.

In its complaint, Bird alleges that Beverly Hills broke California laws, including a statute that ensures equal rights for drivers, bicyclists, motorcyclists and motorized scooter riders. The lawsuit also alleges that Beverly Hills took property without due process of law, noting that Bird had to pay more than $10,000 to reclaim its scooters. In addition, the legal action contends that Beverly Hills violated environmental and open meeting laws.

Contact Weber & Nierenberg

We offer over three decades of combined experience to people in California who have been hurt because of someone else’s carelessness, including men and women injured in any kind of motorcycle accident. For a private consultation, contact Weber & Nierenberg online or call us at 1-866-288-6010. Your initial meeting is free of charge.

Scooter Companies Face Class Action Lawsuit

 

Litigation Alleges Manufacturers Engaged in “Gross Negligence”

 

Scooter-CompaniesEven though they seem to be increasingly popular with commuters and the public, electronic scooters continue to be the source of legal issues for their manufacturers. In fact, a lawsuit filed in state court in Los Angeles County earlier this fall named a number of e-scooter companies as defendants and the allegations included “aiding and abetting assault” and engaging in “gross negligence.”

The California litigation, which names Bird, Lime and other e-scooter enterprises, was filed as a class action on behalf of eight individuals who say they suffered injuries because of the companies’ business practices. The injured parties (plaintiffs) contend that scooter companies have increased the risk of injury by placing scooters on public streets without any safety warnings or ways to ensure that individuals who rent or drive them are qualified to do so. They allege in their lawsuit that this constitutes a “public nuisance.”

The complaint further states that the e-scooter companies either knew or should have known that their customers were injuring others, specifically pedestrians, but took no action whatsoever to address the problem. By failing to act, they allege, the companies “assisted and encouraged” customers to engage in behavior that constituted assault.

The plaintiffs also contend that there are product liability concerns with many of the scooters— they have either defective electronics or defective mechanical parts (or both). Attorneys for the plaintiffs say there are “scores” of riders and pedestrians who have already been injured, and they have asked the court to certify a class action.

Contact Weber & Nierenberg to Schedule a Meeting

At the law offices of Weber & Nierenberg, we bring more than 30 years of combined legal experience to personal injury victims across California, including people who have been hurt in scooter accidents. We will listen carefully to learn the unique details of your case so that we can customize our legal representation to obtain the outcome you need. Contact our office online or call 1-866-288-6010 to set up a free initial consultation with an experienced California motorcycle and scooter accident attorney.

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween! 2018

The Hurt Study—A Look at Motorcycle Accidents in Southern California

Motorcycle-Accidents

Study Helps Officials and Bikers Make Riding Safer

More than 35 years ago, Harry Hurt, a researcher at the University of Southern California, conducted an extensive study of nearly 4,000 motorcycle accidents in the Los Angeles metropolitan area. That study is still used today to teach motorcyclists about the potential risks on the road and the things they can do to make their time on the bike safer.

Some Basic Findings of the Hurt Study

Professor Hurt found that about three of every four motorcycle accidents involved a collision with another vehicle (almost always a passenger car), and the remainder were caused by a collision with some other object or loss of control of the bike. As a general rule, mechanical problems were not a meaningful factor in the accidents, accounting for less than 3% of the crashes.

Hurt found that, when the crash involved another vehicle, the driver of that vehicle was twice as likely to have violated posted right of way than the biker. The other driver was at fault in approximately 2/3rds of all motorcycle-car accidents, with the most common type of collision coming when an automobile operator makes a left turn into the path of a motorcyclist traveling straight. One of the most often-cited reasons for a collision involved the failure of the other driver to detect and recognize the presence of a motorcycle on the roadway.

In single bike accidents, the most frequent cause was operator error, usually the result of excessive speed, over-braking or taking a turn too wide.

Hurt found that the vast majority of motorcycle accidents happen on short trips along city streets, and that weather is rarely a factor in a motorcycle crash—about one in every 50 motorcycle crashes results from inclement weather.

Contact the Proven Personal Injury Attorneys at Weber & Nierenberg

At Weber & Nierenberg, we bring more than three decades of combined experience to injured people in California, representing clients who have been hurt in any kind of motorcycle accident. To set up a confidential consultation, contact Weber & Nierenberg by e-mail or call us at 1-866-288-6010. Your initial interview is without cost or obligation.

California Lets Adult Scooter Operators Ride without Helmets

Ride-without-Helmets

Governor Brown Signs Bill to Remove Helmet Requirement

If you’ve joined the thousands of Californians who have embraced scooters as a way to get around town, there’s good news—you won’t be required anymore to bring along and wear one of those pesky helmets—at least, not after January 1, 2019, when the new law goes into effect.

On September 18, 2018, Governor Jerry Brown signed new legislation that waives the helmet requirement for anyone 18 and over operating a scooter in the state of California. Proponents of the bill say that, as a practical matter, it eliminates the requirement for virtually all scooter operators, as most dockless scooter companies don’t all minors to use their vehicles. Under the legislation, there are minimum requirements that apply throughout the state, but local communities still have the option to impose tougher restrictions.

Advocates for the bill called it a common-sense response to the unique factors that affect scooter rentals. Most medium-to-large cities in California have seen an influx of scooter companies, such as Bird and Lime, making electric vehicles that can be picked up and dropped off at almost any location. Scooter enthusiasts say that, because the scooters cannot travel at high rates of speed, the risk of injury is significantly less. In addition, they contend that requiring riders to wear helmets dramatically reduced the inclination of customers to spontaneously opt for a scooter as means of transportation, as most folks don’t carry a helmet with them at all times.

The new law also includes another significant provision unrelated to the use of helmets. Under existing law, scooters were not allowed on roads with posted speed limits in excess of 25 miles per hour. Under the new law, that has been changed to 35 miles per hour.

Contact the Experienced Motorcycle Accident Attorneys at Weber & Nierenberg

At Weber & Nierenberg, our attorneys have more than 30 years of experience helping personal injury victims across California. We know that every fact situation is different. We’ll take the time to learn the details of your accident, so that we can tailor our efforts to get the results you want. Contact us by e-mail or call our office at 1-866-288-6010 for a free initial consultation with an experienced California motorcycle accident attorney.

The Top Mobile Apps for Bikers

Go Digital to Enhance Your Riding Experience

It may not be something you immediately associate with riding a motorcycle—how you can be safer and have more fun using mobile apps on your phone or other device. But there are a number of useful mobile applications for bikers. Here are some of the best:

  • Eat Sleep Ride—Pretty much says it all, doesn’t it? That’s the focus of this “all in one” motorcycle app. The developers of this great tool looked at all the different types of apps motorcyclists have been using over the last few years and worked to combine them in a single place. The app allows you to track, save and share rides and gives you a wealth of data, including average and top speed, elevation and lean angle. It also has a feature called “Crashlight,” which detects if you have been in an accident and sends an emergency message to pre-selected contacts, giving them your exact location.
  • Best Biking Roads—If you’re looking for new places to ride, this is the ideal app, with nearly 10,000 routes recommended by other motorcyclists. Some even include photos and videos.
  • RoadTrippers—This app helps you plan multi-day rides, with information about lodging, places to eat and local attractions. The app has more than one million points of interest.
  • Waze—To help you anticipate potential road congestion or other problems, use Waze, which uses information provided by other drivers in real time to help you get to your destination as soon as possible.
  • FuelLog—With this app, you can track not only miles per gallon, but also vehicle maintenance costs. The app will help you determine gas costs per ride, per month or per year, as well as total distance driven. FuelLog is available only for Android devices.

Contact Weber & Nierenberg

At Weber & Nierenberg, we have more than 30 years of combined experience helping injured people in California, including men and women who have been hurt in motorcycle accidents. For a private consultation, contact Weber & Nierenberg by e-mail  or call us at 1-866-288-6010. There is no charge for your first meeting.

California Cities Address Concerns about Dockless Scooters

Officials Act to Respond to Safety Issues

Unless you’ve been living in a cave somewhere, you’ve seen them on the roads in California—electric “dockless” scooters, a new form of transportation open to anyone with a smart phone. Unlike prior versions of the public scooter, which had to be returned to the pickup location when the user was done, the dockless scooter can be left anywhere. The unanticipated explosion in the availability and use of these vehicles has caught most California municipalities unprepared and many are now responding with new ordinances and regulations, primarily designed to promote the safe use of the “bikes,” as many riders have been seen on sidewalks, driving without helmets and traveling at high rates of speed in neighborhoods.

On September 4, the Los Angeles City Council implemented a new set of regulations for dockless scooters, limiting the total number of such vehicles in the entire city to 3,000, with the specific exception of two areas where pilot programs will be conducted. Council members said that the cap could be increased if dockless scooter companies agree to operate in specific disadvantaged communities in LA and the San Fernando Valley. The council also established a 15-mph speed limit and imposed several requirements on scooter companies, including:

  • Mandatory removal of all scooters blocking sidewalks
  • A minimum of $5 million in commercial general liability insurance
  • Regular maintenance to ensure the scooters are in good working condition
  • A 24 hour hotline so that citizens can report scooters that are not in compliance with the laws

San Francisco was one of the first municipalities in California to introduce new regulations governing dockless scooters, establishing regulations in May, 2018. Santa Monica has enacted measures to deal with dockless scooters, establishing a 16-month pilot program and imposing a ceiling of 750 such scooters in the city. San Diego officials are also contemplating measures to address safety concerns.

Contact Weber & Nierenberg—Experienced Motorcycle Accident Attorneys

At Weber & Nierenberg, we bring more than three decades of experience to personal injury victims throughout California. Our experience helps us understand that every situation is unique. We’ll listen carefully to learn exactly what happened to you, so that we can prepare and present the most compelling arguments to get the outcome you want. Contact our office by e-mail or call 1-866-288-6010 to set up a free initial consultation with an experienced California motorcycle accident attorney.

 
 
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Government Studies Scooter Safety

  CDC Looking at Dockless Scooters   Surprising even industry analysts, dockless scooters have become the rage in municipalitie... [Read More...]