Were you injured in an accident when your electric scooter’s throttle malfunctioned? Unfortunately, this is one of the problems with e-scooters that our attorneys see commonly. Our personal injury law firm has spoken to many electric scooter riders (Bird, Lime, Lyft and Spin) who suffered serious injuries when their scooter’s throttle malfunctioned.
Scooter Throttle Sticks in Downward Position
The throttle is on the right handlebar of the scooter. Its function is to control the speed while riding. The rubber hand grip to the right of the throttle has an identified issue of becoming loose over time. A loose rubber grip can slide to the left and wedge into the throttle, causing the throttle to become stuck in the downward position, i.e., at full-throttle. A crash can occur when the rider tries to pop the throttle back up, flicking it with their thumb. The rider, if he or she is going downhill, or approaching an intersection with cross-traffic, may panic and put one foot down on the ground to try to stop. We refer to this as the “Fred Flintstone stop.”
When a scooter rider traveling at a high rate of speed puts one foot down on the ground to try to stop, the rider will often crash and serious injury can result. One of the most common injuries we see when a rider does a Fred Flintstone stop is the “E-Scooter Tib Fib Special," i.e., a broken tibia and fibula.
The scooter companies like Lime and Bird know this is a problem. The “sticking throttle” is even referred to on the internet as the “poor man’s cruise control.”
Here is a video of a scooter throttle that gets stuck in the downward position:
Scooter Throttle Engages On Its Own
A second common issue we see with electric scooter throttle malfunctions is the throttle engaging on its own, without the rider even pressing it. This can be very scary for a rider, whose e-scooter is speeding out of control down the roadway, even when the rider’s thumb is not touching the throttle. Again, the rider may choose to do a Fred Flintstone stop in order to avoid being hit by a car.
This is an example of a throttle that is turning on without the rider pressing it:
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If you have been hurt in a scooter accident that was caused by someone else’s actions or a malfunction, get in touch with our experienced scooter injury attorneys to start your case today!