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Concerns Over Safety as E-Scooter Injuries Increase

In late spring of 2018, as city officials prepared to introduce a trial e-scooter ridesharing program in Portland, anticipation was high that it would revolutionize transportation. The fast moving, two-wheeled electric devices promised an inexpensive, fun, and environmentally friendly way for residents and visitors alike to navigate through the city and similar programs were quickly trending in other major metropolitan areas.

Unfortunately, more than half way through the trial run, reports of personal injuries have become steady and the first fatality has occurred in another state. With still two months to go, local police are getting more aggressive in their efforts, both in enforcing guidelines and in encouraging e-scooter rider safety.

First E-Scooter Fatality Reported

As the e-scooter trend continues to increase across U.S. cities, a September 2018 article in Fortune claims that the first fatality has been reported. It occurred in Dallas on September 4, when resident Jacoby Stoneking took an e-scooter home from a nearby restaurant.

At some point in his travels, he became injured and requested a Lyft. By the time the driver appeared, Stoneking was unresponsive, lying on the ground with the broken scooter by his side. Unfortunately, his injuries eventually proved fatal and authorities listed the cause of death as blunt force trauma to the head.

Stoneking was apparently not wearing a helmet at the time of his accident. Despite the poor timing, California announced the controversial decision to allow e-scooter riders to forego helmets or other safety gear in the state just days later. In Portland, Oregon law does require all e-scooter riders to wear state-approved protective headgear, the same as they would on a bicycle. However, even this precaution has not prevented several serious injuries from occurring.

Portland E-Scooter Controversy

The Willamette Week reported in late August on a collision involving a TriMet bus and an e-scooter rider. Though the rider did not suffer serious injuries, it was the third such event to have occurred over the course of the month.

  • The first happened on August 10, when a rider was struck by a motorist after driving the wrong way on a one-way street.
  • The second occurred just five days later, when two brothers were struck by a drunk driver while looking over some scooters parked on the street.

With the e-scooter trial program in effect until November, Portland police are encouraging riders to take the appropriate precautions to protect themselves. After receiving numerous complaints, they are also encouraging riders to be aware when riding on sidewalks or through crossways of the dangers they could potentially pose to pedestrians.

Let Us Help You Today

If you or someone you care about has been injured in an e-scooter accident, the Johnston Law Firm is here to help you get the compensation you need to recover. To request a consultation to discuss your case, contact our Portland personal injury attorneys today at (503) 546-3167.


Marc Johnston

Lead Attorney at Johnston Law Firm, P.C.

Based in downtown Portland, Marc A. Johnston is the owner and managing attorney of the award-winning, internationally-known personal injury law firm, Johnston Law Firm, P.C. Marc's career has been dedicated to representing the injured and individuals who have been treated unfairly by an insurance company. His focus on trial law creates the backbone of the Johnston Law Firm — a firm that is ready to go the distance in seeking justice for its clients.