Shared electric scooters have arrived in the Portland area and will be around for at least a couple more months as the city gives the concept a trial period. Many Oregonians see these scooters as a great alternative to walking in congested areas, like downtown, without having to lug around a bicycle. Using a scooter to go from place to place is still environmentally friendly, and it saves time. Other residents may even choose to try this new mode of transportation out just for the experience of it.
However, the city's cautious optimism about this new transportation trend may be justified. There are several reports of serious accidents happening around the country in cities where these scooters are allowed. The injuries from these accidents include soft tissue injuries and broken bones, including missing teeth.
Sadly, some of the injuries reported also included traumatic brain injuries. While not many, some fatalities related to these scooters have been reported.
Moreover, one cannot underestimate the difficulty even an injury to one's skin can cause. Bad road burns can leave gravel embedded in one's flesh, and this requires a thorough cleaning and even surgery in order to avoid permanent and obvious scarring.
The grim reports are not terribly surprising since anyone can pick up a scooter and take a ride. In other words, they may have no real training on how to operate the electrically powered vehicle, and they will likely not be properly dressed to do so.
While at least one company is working to prevent these, helmets may not be available to riders of these scooters to the same degree they are available to the bike riders who have an established presence in Portland.
Someone injured on one of these scooter or, for that matter, by someone riding a scooter, may have the legal option to file a personal injury case.