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Electric Bike & Electric Scooter Injury Risks

An article regarding injuries to riders on electric, bikes, electric scooters and pedal bikes.

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2018-12-03 Brisbane scooters are injury compensation lawsuits on wheels https://www.bennettphilp.com.au/blog/warning-brisbane-scooters-are-injury-compensation-lawsuits-on-wheels

2019-01-09 Only 30.3% of respondents agreed that electric scooters should primarily be ridden on footpaths, while just 15.8% thought their maximum speed limit should be 20-30km/h https://www.budgetdirect.com.au/blog/queenslanders-disagree-with-new-electric-scooter-laws.html

2019-01-20 Fractures and head injuries: Scooter crashes becoing a regular occurrence https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/politics/queensland/fractures-and-head-injuries-scooter-crashes-becoming-a-regular-occurrence-20190120-p50shv.html

2019-01-21 Lime scooters … are in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane but of late they are being noticed for all the wrong reasons. https://www.schultzlaw.com.au/news/injuries-to-rise-alongside-popularity-of-ride-sharing-scooters/

2019-03-30 Hundreds of people have been fined with safety breaches using electric scooters https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-03-30/electric-scooters-riders-fined-safety-breaches-brisbane-qld/10956110

2019-05-08 Riders unaware of dangers. During the past two months, paramedics have treated 80 people for injuries sustained while riding Lime scooters [more tha one incident per day in Brisbane] https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/national/queensland/riders-unaware-of-dangers-80-lime-scooter-riders-injured-in-two-months-20190508-p51l5h.html

2019-09-30 reports of escalating numbers of emergency department presentations by riders and pedestrians with injuries caused by electric scooters https://www.mja.com.au/journal/2019/211/9/illegal-and-risky-riding-electric-scooters-brisbane

2019-11-08 The scooters that ate Brisbane https://www.afr.com/companies/transport/the-scooters-that-ate-brisbane-20190913-p52r21

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I suspect the main problem is that the cohort of people who hire e-bikes and scooters, and end up injuring themselves, are much less experienced riders than those who own their own human powered bikes and scooters. However, other factors such as poor road surfaces, car drivers in general, and car drivers who open doors without looking are significant causes of injuries to those without a metal cage around them.
“Bike lanes” are often known as door-opening lanes amongst cyclists, for good reason.

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I think you are right there. I’ve been readjusting to riding a folding e-bike compared to a standard human only powered version.

Why is this so?

We hired full size e-bikes some time past. Taking a very easy first day out mainly off the roads and on the flat was enough to reveal both benefits and the need to change some old habits.

The power boosted standing start is the most obvious difference. The extra acceleration may get you moving faster and further sooner than you need. The extra power on steeper hills is wonderful, but on the flat or footpath oh so easy to push the bike to speeds unexpected. And don’t what ever you do push the pedals forward unless you really mean to start off.

I’m sure there are some more adjustments to be made.

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Lime Scooters have been taken to task by the ACCC.

https://www.9news.com.au/national/australia-lime-scooter-court-orders-over-scooter-safety-issue/1b135a69-7866-45cb-9743-b949bd57dd38

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I’m leaning towards Lime a little here.
Failure to report injuries and accidents (State laws) is a serious issue that the States can administer. Perhaps the States will, or are they choosing to look the other way for now?

The competency of the scooter user vs the capabilities of the scooter seems a much more complex issue. Does Lime have a responsibility to ensure every scooter is within the capabilities of every user? How fast a scooter is travelling and how capable it is when the user wants to stop may be more in the hands of the user than the scooter or Lime.

We do need a license to operate a boat. It would seem simpler to control and use a boat in many instances compared with safe operation of a scooter in a busy city or urban environment. Many of us never had the luxury of a scooter, or in the instance of hilly Sydney or Brisbane etc learn that what goes down the hill needs to stop. We used the footpath for our carts, with a blind corner at the bottom. Until they sealed the centre section of the road. Speed, more speed…

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From a news bite on it it seems it is about the safety of the device to be ridden with possible sudden unexpected braking/stops that may propel the rider off the scooter onto the ground. Therefore an issue of the safety of the device and it’s programming perhaps.

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An updated article.

Still leaning?

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@Fred123, @grahroll and @mark_m Always learning.

Lime Scooters and our regulators appear to be slow learners.

Lime said,
"Prior to resolving the issue in March of 2019, in very rare cases, excessive brake force on the front wheel of some Gen 2 e-scooters could occur, resulting in the e-scooter stopping unexpectedly.

"Upon becoming aware of the issue, we immediately launched a thorough investigation and made firmware upgrades to our Gen 2 e-scooters to resolve the issue.

“These firmware upgrades were successful, and we are confident that they have resolved the sudden stopping issue.”

The ACCC and Lime agree,
“Lime acknowledges that it did not meet our reporting obligations. We are a young company and while we don’t always get it right, we learn fast,”

Pedestrian Council of Australia chairman Harold Scruby

  • governments needed to “stop pretending e-scooters are safe”
  • wanted to see scooters banned from footpaths and mandatory insurance policies implemented for riders.
  • “If you are hit by one of those scooters, the medical bills will come out of your own pocket,”

“You’re better off being hit by a car.”

Mr Scruby said he believed riders should have licences and e-scooters should be registered vehicles.

In the interim one possible response to Lime is that they need to not only ensure their scooters are safe to use, but those they permit to use their powered scooters are competent to do so. How is open for resolution.

The insurance and lifetime compensation in the instance of injury is a more critical concern.

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In 2019, the ‘issue’ was software/firmware on Gen 2 e-scooters and resolution was…

In 2020, the same ‘issue’ existed on firmware patched Gen 2 e-scooters and resolution agreed with the ACCC is…

If Lime recommences its operations in Australia, it has also undertaken to supply only Gen 3 or other later models of e-scooters for hire, to address any safety issues or defects affecting its e‑scooters and to implement a comprehensive compliance program. (Nine article)

Some must be hoping third time lucky. Until such time they are proven (or not), Lime riders will be experimental guinea pigs. I personally wouldn’t have much faith in what Lime says as their technology has indicated otherwise.

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Is it just Lime scooter users who are the guinea pigs or the community as a whole?

It would appear Lime believe a simple change to the front brake operation will stop users having accidents. I’ve reserved my scepticism for the future. No two riders have the same body mass, balance, weight distribution, skill sets. The pavement can be smooth, rough, wet, dry, oily, loose gravel. Hopefully the next version includes ABS and an Airgag?

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Segway is ceasing production of their original Segway Personal Transporter.

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There is an increasing number of electric motorised skate board riders on the streets and footpaths of BrisVegas recently. There is also a rather challenging one wheeled board that has a single fat tyre in the middle of the board. They appear to be steered purely by physical balance with lean forward or back controlling speed. A one wheeled hands free Sedgeway?

There is obviously a significant degree of skill required for either. Yes, I’m mildly jealous of the youthful bravado and assumed level of proficiency.

In the ‘nanny state’ should such products be banned?

Alternately are the manufacturers and suppliers 100% legally responsible for the safe use of their products.

On considering:
product + user = outcome
Do they fall into the same category as a motor vehicle where both the vehicle manufacturer/supplier and driver/user have legal obligations? These include liability protection through insurance held by both parties.

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That reminds of a joke when I was young regarding persons who thought they were clever by riding pushbikes handsfree.

“Look Ma, no hands”.

“Look Ma, no teeth”.

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As long as the user isn’t holding scissors it should be safe?

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Well, I for one, don’t like scooter riders yelling at me when I’m on the footpath :wink:

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I remember:
“Look Ma, no cavities !”
“That’s 'cause you got no teeth.” :rofl:

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