Electric scooters, or e-scooters, have come to Arizona in droves as companies such as Spin, Lime and Bird bring tens of thousands of rentable e-scooters to major cities. These companies offer low-cost e-scooter rentals to the public through apps. While many residents are quick to try out rentable e-scooters, most do not fully understand the risks or laws related to dockless e-scooters. The more you learn about e-scooters in Arizona, the more you will be able to protect yourself from disaster.
Powered scooters are technically not new to the State of Arizona. In the 1990s, Arizona lawmakers passed bills banning go-peds, motorized skateboards similar to e-scooters, from Phoenix streets. Phoenix and surrounding cities, including Glendale, banned go-peds entirely from public spaces. Today, these existing laws prevent major e-scooter companies such as Lime and Bird from bringing their vehicles to Phoenix-area cities.
When Bird released thousands of rentable e-scooters into the City of Glendale in 2018 anyway, the city responded with a cease and desist letter ordering Bird to remove them from public spaces or face fines. The ban may be temporary, however, as the council discusses the future of e-scooters in the city. Other cities, such as Tempe, are attempting to address rider safety issues rather than banning e-scooters entirely.
In Arizona cities that do allow rentable e-scooters, riders do not need driver’s licenses to operate them. Riders may lawfully take them on bicycle paths as well as roads. It may be illegal to ride on sidewalks in business districts depending on municipal law. Riders must follow the same flow of traffic as motor vehicles. They must also obey all the same lights, signs, signals and traffic laws. Electric scooters cannot exceed speeds of 25 miles per hour in Arizona.
If you decide to rent an e-scooter or ride your own in the State of Arizona, put safety first. Since thousands of users began renting electric scooters in the US, the rates of e-scooter accidents have drastically increased. A research study from JAMA Network found an increase in e-scooter injuries from 4,583 in 2014 to 14,641 in 2018. Inexperienced riders can crash their e-scooters and suffer serious physical injuries. Common injuries include broken bones and traumatic brain injuries.
Always follow traffic laws if you go out on an e-scooter in Arizona. Do not run red lights or roll through stop signs. Come to a complete stop and yield the right-of-way to motor vehicle drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians when applicable. Stick to speed limits and pay attention to your surroundings. Be especially careful when riding in the road near motor vehicles, as well as crossing intersections. Wear a helmet at all times, even if your city or state does not require one. A helmet could prevent a serious or fatal head injury from happening in an e-scooter accident.
Who Is Liable in an E-scooter Accident?
Arizona’s fault-based laws mean the party responsible for causing the e-scooter accident will be liable for the victim’s injuries and damages. This could be a distracted, drunk, negligent or reckless driver if that driver crashed into the scooter rider. The at-fault party could also be the city government if a roadway defect caused the crash, such as a pothole. Another potential defendant could be the e-scooter company if it was guilty of producing a defective vehicle, breaking city e-scooter laws or engaging in other acts of negligence that contributed to the wreck.
Identifying the at-fault party may take assistance from a Peoria personal injury lawyer. A lawyer could assist you as a victim in fighting for maximum financial compensation for your damages from the correct defendant(s). You could recover compensation for your medical expenses, physical pain, lost wages, property damages, emotional suffering, legal fees and more from the party that caused your e-scooter accident. Discuss liability and compensation with an attorney as soon as possible after an e-scooter crash in Arizona.