DETROIT, Mich.–Increased shared mobility options are creating more liability issues than the owners of the options had anticipated, in some cases because of the willful mischief of the users.
Cities like Los Angeles and Detroit have added shared electric scooters, as have an increasing number of towns like Ann Arbor Michigan and Urbana, Illinois where there are major college populations. But just as there are people who delight in keying cars and abusing pets, there are those whose entertainment comes from cutting brake line on scooters, or messing with the brakes on shared bikes in the hopes of causing injury.
Rutgers University, for example, released a new study on electric scooters this week. The researchers found head injuries due to scooter crashes have tripled in the last decade, in part due to inexperienced riders trying them out, but also because of outright mischief by users.
In San Diego this past week, a woman had to jump from a moving scooter when she realized the brakes on it had been cut.
“My option was either to jump off the scooter or to just roll with it into traffic,” said Mary Adamcyk.
Adamcyk says she rides electric scooters all the time. Tuesday night, it didn’t end well.
“I went to hit the brakes and they just didn’t work and the scooter just kept going,” she said. “I was really freaked out because there were two cars coming towards me.”
Adamcyk says she always checks the brakes before she rides because she knows some people cut them. This time, she missed it.
“I’ll see an entire nest with the brakes cut,” she told Fox2now.com. “I just see it so often.”
Lyft as seen brake failure on e-Bikes in multiple cities, and has taken them off the road in several cities. Injuries in New York and other cities have been recorded, and lawyers are teeing up suits against companies and municipalities.