Friday, June 21, 2019

Scooter Manufacturer's Own Instructions Show E-Scooters Not Suitable For Chicago's Streets

Ten different vendors are participating in Chicago's e-scooter pilot program. Included in these ten are the companies Bird and Spin who were earlier entrants into the marketplace. The phrase “a Bird” is often used as a general term for an e-scooter, even those that aren't the Bird brand. Both Bird and Spin use the same Xiaomi Mi Electric Scooters for their fleets of e-scooters. Remarkably, the "Mi Electric Scooter User Manual" makes several recommendations and identifies limitations that are incompatible with use on the often imperfect streets of Chicago. Since e-scooters are also operated amongst traffic, this puts not only the rider of the scooter at risk, but also other persons on the roadways and pedestrians.

E-Scooters Not To Be Ridden In The Rain Or Over 6 MPH On "Bumpy Roads"

The instructions specifically state that e-scooters are not to be ridden in the rain. The City of Chicago's Scooter Pilot Program calls for the scooters to be removed by the vendors from the city's streets every night at 10 p.m., but there are no requirements that the scooters be removed due to rain.

The instruction also specifically state that riders should only ride between 3.1 and 6.2 miles per hour on bumpy road or uneven surfaces. This is particularly concerning given the number of potholes and rough roadways in Chicago. 

E-Scooters Not To Be Ridden On Streets 

Perhaps the most befuddling of all of the e-scooter instructions is that they are not to be ridden in "traffic lanes" or residential areas where there is both vehicular and pedestrian traffic. This is essentially each and every Chicago street. And note the title of the page, "Do not try following dangerous actions." 

E-Scooters Not To Be "Lent" To Persons 
Who Don't Know How To Ride

This instruction from the user's manual really contradicts the business model of the e-scooter business. That business model is simple: in exchange for money let anyone rent one of the scooters. The issue is that there is no verification process of screening for who rents the scooters. 

Another notable instruction is that e-scooter riders are to give pedestrians the right-of-way. 

E-Scooters Not To Be Left Outside

The City of Chicago's pilot program calls for the e-scooters to be left outside on the city's streets from 5 a.m. until 10 p.m. when the vendors are supposed to retrieve them. This means that the scooters are left outside for 17 out of the 24 hours in the day for each and every day. This is despite the fact that right on Page 13 the instructions explicitly state that the scooter are to be stored indoors and not left outside for long periods of time. 

Chicago, Illinois Personal Injury Attorneys

Keating Law Offices founder and principal attorney Mike Keating has been at the forefront of advocating for safety from e-scooter companies. Mike was invited by the American Association for Justice to speak to the attendees of the 2019 AAJ Winter Convention in Miami. Mike's subject was Bike Share and the emerging threats posed by E-Scooters. The speech was entitled "Looking Beyond Automobiles: Bicycles and Electric Scooters." Mike also objected to the City of Chicago's plans to allow e-scooters in bike lanes and predicted that this was to allow for-profit companies to rent e-scooters on Chicago's streets. It is the mission of Keating Law Offices to help protect Chicagoans and to prevent companies from placing profits over people. 

The attorneys at Keating Law Offices are available for free legal consultations with anyone who has been injured while riding an e-scooter or as a result of the use of an e-scooter. All consultations are without any obligation and are 100% confidential. The firm can be reached at 312-239-6787 with operators available around the clock outside of normal business hours. You can also email the firm at