Austin Revel Moped Accident Lawyers
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In November 2019, Revel activated 1,000 mopeds in Austin, Texas as part of a partnership with the Austin Transportation Department. While Revel mopeds offer attractive opportunities for economic growth and environmental stability, riders should be aware of the possible risks they face while driving a Revel moped on the public roadways.
Understanding the potential dangers of Revel mopeds and what legal matters exist is important. While Revel mopeds are likely to become popular in Austin, there should also be an understanding of safety, as well as what rights you may have in regards to accidents involving these electric mopeds.
WHAT IS REVEL?
Revel mopeds are electric, two-seater mopeds that may be parked anywhere in the city within the company’s operating limits. Similar to Bird or Lime scooters, riders are able to rent the electric mopeds for cheap, with a $1 to start and $.25 per minute of riding, or $.10 per minute while parked.
The Revel mopeds started out with a pilot program with Tarot scooters and later expanded with a fleet of 1,000 mopeds sourced from electric manufacturer NIU. The company then expanded further in Washington D.C. with 400 mopeds. Now the company is ready to expand by bringing 1,000 mopeds to Austin, Texas.
As of July 1, 2019, a suit has been filed against Revel on behalf of an individual who suffered a broken ankle that required surgery after he was hit by a driver of a Revel moped from behind at an intersection. The individual was in the left lane and was hit by a Revel driver trying to turn left into the same intersection. The suit claims that the Revel driver was driving negligently, and also blames Revel for failing to assure its users had sufficient knowledge and skill to operate a moped.
REVEL MOPED ACCIDENTS
Revel mopeds reach up to 30 miles per hour and don’t require a motorcycle license or any previous two-wheel driving experience. While Revel does offer lessons, they are not required before hopping on a moped. All that is required is for drivers to upload their driver’s license to have access to the moped, regardless if they have experience with driving two-wheelers.
Accidents involving Revel mopeds have already begun in cities that have adopted them. For example, in Washington D.C., a rider hit a pothole and flipped his moped over, breaking his collarbone.
Primary causes of moped accidents include:
- Unsafe road conditions. Poorly maintained roads may be a hazard for moped drivers. Hitting potholes or other road hazards may easily make a lightweight moped airborne.
- Inattentive drivers. Other drivers on the road may drive unsafely around mopeds and scooters. Drivers may be unaware of right-of-way laws, how fast mopeds may travel, or how much space to leave when passing moped riders.
- Inexperienced riders. Because moped rentals are a new thing in most areas, rider experience is a major accident contributor.
MOPED SAFETY TIPS
Here are a few ways to reduce your risk of an accident:
- Ensure that you’re wearing a helmet and that it’s secure before driving.
- Adjust mirrors before beginning your ride.
- Secure all purses, keys, and other dangling items.
- Remain vigilant of your surroundings.
- Wear bright and noticeable colors, or reflective equipment, to ensure that you’re visible to other drivers.
Here are a few tips on how drivers can drive safely around mopeds:
- Follow the 4-second rule. Increase your driving distance when driving behind a moped, with a cushion of at least 4 seconds. Choose an object (a tree, a road sign, etc.) and count the seconds between when the moped passes that object and when you pass. When driving in bad weather, anticipate a moped rider might have trouble operating their moped and give them even more space.
- Look before you turn. If you see a moped at an intersection, try and make eye contact with them before turning in its direction. If you have to pass a moped with a lingering turn signal, proceed with caution.
- Check your blind spots often. Because mopeds are a lot smaller than cars, it’s easier for them to slip into your blind spot. Swivel your head to check your blind spots regularly, especially before changing lanes.
WHAT TO DO AFTER A REVEL MOPED ACCIDENT
Below are things you should do after being injured in a Revel moped accident:
1. CALL THE POLICE
After an accident occurs, and you are able to move yourself and your moped to a safe location, you should immediately call the police and report the accident. When the police arrive, be sure to provide accurate details about the accident and ask for a copy of the police report.
2. DOCUMENT THE SCENE
If you happen to have a camera or smartphone nearby, you should take pictures of the area in which the accident occurred. If possible, it’s best to try and photograph the positions of the vehicles involved in the crash before they are moved from the accident scene. Be sure to include street signs or lights, so that viewers may orient themselves and obtain a better understanding of where the other vehicles were. If you have visible injuries, you should photograph them as well.
3. GATHER CONTACT INFORMATION
You should obtain the name, address, phone number, and insurance information of all persons involved in the accident. If there are witnesses, you should write down their contact information as well, so that you or your attorney may contact them in the future.
4. SEEK MEDICAL ATTENTION
Unless absolutely certain that you're not injured, you should seek medical attention immediately after an accident, either at your local emergency room or by seeing your physician. While injuries may not feel serious initially, they often have the potential to develop into something much worse when left untreated. Remember that medical records may help prove that your injuries were caused by the accident, so be sure to keep an organized record of any documented injuries.
5. INFORM YOUR INSURANCE COMPANY
Call your insurance company within 24 hours after the accident. It’s important to cooperate with them and tell them exactly what happened and the extent of your injuries. Remember, if unsure about the extent of your injuries, it’s okay to say that you’re unsure. If the insurance company finds out that you were untruthful about anything, your claim could be denied coverage.
CAN I SUE REVEL?
Revel provides third party auto liability insurance that meets the statutory requirements in each jurisdiction of operation for damages to third parties during a rider’s use of the moped. However, that insurance is only available if riders comply with all of Revel’s rules and regulations, and only if they don’t have their own motor vehicle insurance, which would be used as the primary insurance instead.
Rider compliance is verified by the insurance company and law enforcement. In order to collect money from Revel, victims must prove whose fault the collision was, likely through a civil suit.
LIABILITY IN A REVEL MOPED ACCIDENT
Moped accidents may be caused by the moped drivers themselves or by other negligent parties. Below are common liability scenarios involving mopeds:
- Motor vehicle collisions. Mopeds may be struck by negligent drivers while on the roadways. Mopeds are much smaller than most cars, so moped riders may suffer serious injuries in these cases.
- Collisions with pedestrians. Moped riders may strike pedestrians. The fault for these collisions may vary depending on the situation.
- Defective mopeds. Defective mopeds may malfunction and cause accidents. The moped manufacturer, and Revel itself, could also be liable for a defectively designed or manufactured moped part. Riders must agree to release Revel of any liability and assume all responsibility in the event of an accident — unless the accident was caused by a defective component in the moped.
- Dangerous road conditions. Moped accidents may be the result of dangerous roadways. In this instance, the government or business entity responsible for maintaining that section of the road where the accident occurred could be liable for not correcting the dangerous condition.
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