As reported in many of our previous blog posts, the scooter hire industry is struggling, with many high-profile businesses having no choice but to either downsize or shut up shop completely. In what was meant to be an industry that would revitalise eco-friendly transport, it appears that all is not as rosy as once thought.
Just this week, e-scooter hire firm, Lime, has come under scrutiny, warning their customers of various faults with their vehicles. According to sources, Lime announced that a fault they had detected was resulting in hirers being flung off of their scooters; a fault that has caused many injuries.
These instances mostly occurred when the scooters were going downhill at high speeds, with the electric engine suddenly braking. This ‘jerk’ that saw people being flung was a result of the bug; a bug that the firm now promises to have put right.
A software update had “resulted in a material reduction of occurrences” they say.
“Data shows scooters are a safe form of transportation, comparable to or safer than bicycles”.
William Wallace, a senior policy analyst at Consumer Reports, said: “Right now, a stunning number of e-scooter users are getting seriously hurt, including with head injuries.
“Consumers, scooter companies, cities, helmet-makers, and safety regulators must work together now to improve the safety of these products.”
While promising that all is safe in the world of scooter hire, hirers are being advised to test brakes before use and wear helmets; a caution that will no doubt make some feel rather uneasy.
As it stands, Lime scooters are being hired in over 100 countries across the globe. This results in around 1 million rides on Lime scooters taking place per month. But with 1500 scooter-related injuries reported in the US last year, is this an industry that can survive?
Let us know what you think by leaving your comments with us.