You’ve probably seen them zooming around. Maybe you think they’re cool. Maybe you’ve tried them. Maybe you’ve cursed them! We’re talking about Bird scooters — the convenient, fast, super efficient way to get around these days. While these motorized scooters are beloved by young and old, the manner in which people are using them to zip around congested city streets is actually illegal. Those illegal practices are causing accidents not just for the scooter riders themselves but for innocent bystanders, pedestrians and other motor vehicle drivers as well.
Have YOU been injured in a Bird accident in the LA area? Call Kuzyk Law at 661-945-6969 for a free consultation. We have experience working with accident victims just like you.
Bird Scooters: What are They?
Bird Rides Inc., a scooter-rental startup that’s been around for just a year, operates much like Uber. In fact, it was the brainchild of Uber. Just like ordering up a car-sharing ride, you use the Bird app to locate a scooter near you, scan the scooter to pay, hop on, ride it, then leave it wherever you land. The startup just came on the scene in California a year ago, so there are still kinks to be worked out, even as its popularity expands like wildfire to other cities around the country.
This $1 billion company has peppered the streets and sidewalks of San Francisco and other U.S. cities with motorized vehicles that compare pretty closely to Razor scooters but for grown-ups, according to Business Insider. While it sounds like the company can’t be stopped, this could be called into question if the accidents and misuse keep happening.
The Negatives of Bird
It’s not hard to see the benefits, offering a pretty fast way to navigate downtown, to your next class, or to meet up with friends for coffee. However, Bird comes with some major disadvantages and people are starting to get hurt.
Are you one of those people? Call the personal injury lawyers at Kuzyk Law for your free consultation at 661-945-6969. The company may be held responsible for damages and injuries.
Riders are using these scooters on the sidewalks, weaving in and out of foot traffic instead of using bike lanes and the street, which is where they’re legally bound to be. That’s because sidewalk scootering is illegal in California. Know what else is illegal? Renting a Bird scooter if you’re under 18. However, this little rule isn’t stopping teens and even young kids from hopping on for a joyride.
To compound the problem, many riders aren’t using helmets when they ride, which is also ill-advised. The risks of riding bikes and scooters without a helmet are well documented. In fact, studies reveal that helmets reduce the risk of severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) by half in the event of a head injury, says Reuters. However, it doesn’t seem like many people are heeding these warnings. Other studies show only half of kids and teens don helmets; for adults, that number is even worse.
Scooter riders are getting injured when improperly riding the vehicle, failing to wear a helmet or falling off the scooter. However, perhaps more alarming is that they are injuring others around them. It’s not unusual for law firms these days to be inundated with increased calls about Bird-related accidents. Whether those accidents result from malfunctions with the scooters or are attributed to operator error, a trend is becoming clear.
If you find yourself on the losing side of this trend, call the personal injury lawyers at Kuzyk Law right away at 661-945-6969 for a free consultation.
On top of that, pedestrians are being struck by reckless drivers on scooters, with several more injured as they trip over the scooters left haphazardly on the sidewalk. Bird riders are being hit as they cut across streets, and even when innocently riding as distracted and drunk drivers make bad choices.
Bird has done its best to respond to many of these criticisms, emphasizing their guidelines:
- Riders must upload a valid driver’s license and confirm that they are indeed over 18.
- Riders should view the in-app tutorial to learn how to ride safely and legally.
- Riders should view safety instructions that are clearly posted on each Bird.
- Bird provides free helmets to any rider that requests one (they say they have distributed more than 30,000 free helmets to date).
So…is Bird Really the Word?
Depends on who you ask. It certainly comes with its conveniences. It will cost you just $1 to unlock the scooter and 15 cents a minute to ride. While this makes a quick trip around town worth it for many, bad habits are developing as people in many cases – not all – abuse their privilege to ride Bird motorized scooters. As a result, injuries are being reported at alarming rates. Only time will tell just how dangerous a trend this will become as the scooter-sharing app gains in popularity.
Contact Kuzyk Law
Whether as a rider or pedestrian, if you have been injured in a Bird accident, please contact Kuzyk Law now at 661-945-6969 for your free consultation. We can help you get the compensation you need to seek proper treatment for your injuries.