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Injured when Electric Scooter Automatically Slowed Down? It's Called "Geo-Speed Limiting"

Bird and Lime electric scooters recently rolled out a geo-speed limiting feature which allows the companies to instantly slow a scooter’s speed to 8 mph when the scooter enters a geo-fenced site. Upon leaving the geo-fenced site, the scooter’s speed instantly reverts to its prior speed.

The technology is intended to transfer the responsibility for speed control from the driver to the scooter, and reduce injuries to pedestrians and riders in congested areas. It’s our understanding that the companies send a push alert to a rider’s smartphone, notifying the rider that he or she has entered a reduced speed zone, and at which time the scooter’s speed is automatically reduced.

How Safe is Geo-Speed Limiting?

Not safe, according to one of our clients. She and her husband were riding Lime electric scooters in the bike lane on Ocean Ave. in Santa Monica.

Suddenly, their scooters dropped from the full speed of 15 mph to 8 mph. Shortly thereafter, the scooters suddenly sped back up to 15 mph.

As his scooter suddenly sped up, the husband lost control and struck the rear of his wife’s scooter. She crashed and suffered three broken bones in her ankle, requiring surgery (installation of a plate and screws).

Not until after the accident did they learn that they had received a push text alert on their cell phones from Lime, informing them that they had entered a restricted speed zone, and their speeds would be automatically reduced while in that zone. Because their cell phones were in their pockets when they received this text alert, they only learned about it later, after the accident.

With both hands on the scooter’s handlebars and their eyes on the roadway in front of them, it would not have been safe, while riding, to remove their phones from their pockets to read the text alert.

Better safety idea: why not just cap the speed on electric scooters to 8 mph, regardless of location?

Although the electric scooter industry is making its impact on streets throughout California and the rest of the United States, they are also still trying to figure out the kinks. Unfortunately, riders who temporary rent these scooters ultimately pay the price.

If you have suffered injuries in an electric scooter accident that was not your fault, our Santa Monica electric scooter accident attorney at McGee, Lerer & Associates are committed to helping you obtain the compensation and justice you deserve. We can evaluate, collect evidence, determine your legal options, and fight for the best outcome possible while you recover from injury.

Do not hesitate to contact us and schedule a free consultation today.

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