Read this before you get on a rental scooter this summer

Like millions of Americans, you are probably planning your summer vacation. Don’t forget to take some precautions before leaving the city. Tap or click here for five travel tips to keep you safe.

Once you have visited an unfamiliar city, you may decide to rent a scooter to get around. Technically known as shared mobility devices, they have become a common sight in tourist areas. Like how bike rental works, you simply swipe your bank card and a scooter is made available.

But what happens if you have an accident? Read on to learn how e-scooter rental works and what you need to know.

Here’s the backstory

The concept of e-bikes and scooters is relatively simple. Lined up and locked for safety, you pay to access a ride. Sure, there may be a representative nearby if you have any questions or need guidance, but for the most part it’s a self-service environment.

It’s also not uncommon to sign some documentation before getting on your e-scooter and whizzing away. But how often do you actually read the indemnity forms or go through the contract with a fine-toothed comb? Next time you may want to do that as you are liable for almost anything that happens to you or the scooter.

As Kim explains in a recent podcast episode of Daily Tech Update, “With spring here and summer vacations on the way, more people than ever will give in to the temptation to ride an e-scooter. But you’re taking all the legal risks.”

Use the link below to hear Kim’s entire thoughts on the subject in just one minute.

Waiver of liability

First of all, we must be clear that the conditions for renting an e-scooter differ per rental company. Therefore, always first check with the company for which you use their scooters or e-bikes, for which you are liable.

That said, Kim is right about taking all the responsibility. A popular rental company in New York City offers a subscription service to rent scooters on a monthly basis. But according to the liability waiver, “you agree to indemnify and hold harmless the rental company” from all claims.

Another, who last updated its Terms and Conditions page two years ago, states that you agree to “indemnify, release, and hold harmless” the rental company from all liability for damages.

So if you fall off, get hit by a car, or run into someone else, the company will just shrug and blame you. You are liable for damage repair or personal injury.

Last year, a study in the German city of Hamburg found that 89 people injured in e-scooter accidents in 12 months, with more than half having trauma to the head or face.

The same study also looked at injuries in the US and found that a whopping 32% of e-scooter injuries resulted in fractures, while 40% of riders suffered head trauma. But a big reason for accidents is not lack of balance or experience.

Many of the injuries occurred after midnight. And as you might have guessed, at least a third of the riders were drinking. “Remember, just because you’re on vacation doesn’t mean you’re invincible,” Kim explains.

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