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Personal InjuryAugust 09, 2018

When a Segway Tour Goes Wrong

Did you know Segway tours are all the rage now? If you’re not of the Millennial generation and are currently wondering what a Segway is, a Segway is an upright two-wheeled motorized scooter that was invented by Dean Kamen. Segways were initially introduced to the market in 2001. The rider of the Segway balances on two wheels, and operates the scooter by leaning in whichever direction he wants to go. The small and convenient transportation device helps to get you from point A to point B without having to walk a long distance. Segways are a popular mode of transportation amongst young people, mall cops, and tour guides.

A lot of cities offer Segway tours, where visitors are guided to different locations around the city while riding Segways. Segways work on many different surfaces, but are at their best on a flat and straight finish. Segways are also seemingly safe. After all, they only reach about 12.5 mph at top speed. However, when they malfunction, a lot can go wrong very quickly.


One New York woman filed a lawsuit for millions of dollars after her Segway sightseeing trip ended with a shattered elbow and a hospital stay. Her lawyer claims that the company operating the Segway tours didn’t disclose an important safety fact about a prior recall involving Segways: they could unexpectedly reverse, resulting in falls. The woman states that if she was made aware of this risk, she would have never gone on the tour. And her case is not the only one. There have been multiple lawsuits involving Segways and their malfunctions in the past few years.

In 2003, around 6,000 Segways were recalled due to a defective design that made the scooter stop abruptly. And in 2006, more than 23,000 Segways were recalled because they had another defect that made them travel backwards at dangerous speeds. There have been other complaints, such as the scooter not responding to controls or stopping. Segways CAN be dangerous when they malfunction or when they are not operated correctly.


In most states, you can ride Segways on sidewalks, but it varies depending on the jurisdiction. If you plan to use a Segway, make sure to check your state and local laws for regulations on the use of these devices. When it comes to New York, the Department of Transportation states that Segways, hoverboards, and other personal transports are prohibited in New York City. But the laws are not always enforced at street level.


To avoid injury, take some time and practice using your Segway in safe conditions on flat ground. Learning how to ride a Segway can be rather difficult. It’s different from other modes of transportation like bikes, and requires a good deal of balancing. Make sure you know how to stop, make left and right turns, and turn your device on and off.

Here are some injuries a Segway rider can suffer:

  • Concussion
  • Whiplash
  • Road rash
  • Fracture
  • Neck injury
  • Back injury
  • Spine injury
  • Disfiguration
  • Traumatic brain injury


It can be a difficult feat to get compensation after a Segway accident. Segway manufacturers rarely take responsibility, and always place the blame on improper use of the equipment by the victim. However, manufacturers can still be held liable if you can prove that the manufacturer knew about the risks of the equipment but did not act to prevent injuries from happening. Or in the case that a vehicle driver injured you, you can also hold him accountable. Cars can hit Segways when they don’t see them, or when a driver is speeding, distracted, drowsy, or drunk.

A Segway injury claim is tricky, which is why it is important to get the help of an attorney with experience in Segway cases. He or she can look for evidence that shows the fault lies with the manufacturer or another driver, which will help you recover damages.

If you or a loved one have been injured in a Segway incident, we’re here to help. Speak to our dedicated New York injury lawyers by contacting The Case Handler’s office. We can review your case and get started working on your claim right away. Call us at (212) 608-3734 for a free consultation.

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