Our firm went on to represent Mr G in a no win no fee compensation claim against the driver in question. The driver acknowledged that he had become frustrated at being unable to pass Mr G and another cyclist in the narrow street, and had therefore accelerated past them in a risky fashion, although he believed there was just enough space to do so without hitting either of them. This was a clear case of the driver failing to pay due care and attention to road conditions and consequently causing an accident resulting in Mr G’s injuries.
Within a few months of starting the claim, the driver’s insurance company accepted liability for the accident, and we were able to agree a compensation settlement totalling £9,250 on Mr G’s behalf, which included £1,000 for a new electric bike, as well as a sum reflecting his loss of earnings due to time off work.
Lydia Windrow, a personal injury lawyer in our firm, has considerable experience of cyclist accident claims and recent experience of accidents involving electric bikes. She cycles into work herself and understands the frustration that often occurs between drivers and cyclists. Given our experience with these types of claims, we confidently represent injured cyclists nationwide.
Electric scooters are becoming an increasingly common sight in the UK, including on roads, pavements and in shopping centres, where it is illegal to ride privately-owned e-scooters. With the Bicycle Association estimating that there are currently around 200,000 e-scooters in the country, numbers are being boosted by rental scheme trials
taking place in various locations.
A year-long trial has begun in Liverpool, where the Swedish firm Voi is providing 50 e-scooters available to rent and ride for £1 to unlock and then 20p a minute. These trials are part of the effort to promote sustainable transport, although not all has gone according to plan so far, with Coventry suspending its rental scheme trial due to riders using e-scooters in prohibited areas.
Under current legislation, e-scooters are limited to 15.5mph and are banned on pavements, most roads (apart from bike lanes) and in other pedestrianised areas. One of the issues with e-scooters is that they are much more risky than bicycles, as the wheels are much smaller and the rider stands upright rather than being seated. Furthermore, most e-scooters currently in use in the UK can take up to 30 seconds to automatically shut off when they enter restricted areas, clearly risking the safety of pedestrians, cyclists and motorists.
There is also no doubt that many riders use e-scooters irresponsibly, usually not wearing helmets and often riding erratically on roads, pavements and in other pedestrianised areas. In a recent case in London, a female cyclist was knocked off her bike while cycling along a canal towpath by an e-scooter rider (who failed to stop) and nearly drowned. E-scooters are also popular with tourists and other occasional riders, meaning many are not familiar with how or where to use them safely and legally.
With e-scooters likely to be legalised
in the not too distant future, we are going to see more and more electric bikes and scooters on the roads and pavements, and both cyclists and pedestrians will continue to be at risk from irresponsible, inexperienced or simply bad riders.
If you are a cyclist or pedestrian and have been injured in an accident involving an e-scooter, contact our firm for expert legal advice from solicitors who are themselves cyclists, and have many years of experience with all types of cycling accident claims.
E-bikes are rapidly gaining in popularity worldwide, with sales in the US increasing by 116% between February 2019 and the same month a year later, before more than doubling again by February 2021 (despite the impact of the Covid pandemic). Whether used for fun, getting around towns and cities, commuting or tourism, there is no doubt that e-bikes are here to stay, despite the unaddressed safety concerns.
One of the many current controversies surrounding the use of e-bikes is the fact that although in the UK and EU the power delivery must be cut out at 15.5mph (25km/h), they can go faster unassisted, meaning the rider can travel a higher speed after reaching 250W of continuous power, essentially making a mockery of the speed limit. In fact, many e-bikes and e-scooters can reach 40mph (65km/h) - faster than other vehicles are allowed to travel in residential areas.
The danger posed to other road users, particularly pedestrians and normal cyclists, is obvious. Given the relative novelty of electric bikes, riders are usually inexperienced and often unaware of the rules governing their use on UK roads. Anyone aged over 14 years old can legally ride an e-bike as long as the power delivery doesn't exceed 250 watts, with no license or insurance required. There are also no regulations concerning protective clothing for riders, as long as their bike does not exceed this level of power.
A major problem right now is that many riders do not know what type of e-bike they are using, while others can quite easily modify their bike using a conversion kit to increase its speed. The classification system for e-bikes remains unclear, even to the police and other authorities tasked with enforcing the rules. The present system is confusing, open to abuse and presents a clear safety risk to the general public.
In June 2021, Gone Girl and Cocktail actress Lisa Banes was killed following a hit and run accident involving an e-scooter in New York. In 2020 meanwhile, the English television personality Simon Cowell broke his back after falling off an e-bike. These are just the high-profile cases which make the news.
It appears obvious that e-bikes and e-scooters currently pose a danger to both riders and those in their vicinity. It can only be hoped that the rules governing their use quickly catch up with the reality before more people are killed or seriously injured in e-bike and e-scooter accidents.