The energy-loss rate (ELR) of a charged particle in a two-dimensional semiconductor with Rashba spin-orbit coupling is studied. Our model takes into account of the temperature and density dependence of the electronic properties of the Rashba system. The energy and temperature dependence of the ELR are presented. It is found that a finite Rashba spin-orbit coupling offers a mechanism of tuning the mean scattering time in narrow-gap semiconductors. With a change of Rashba parameter of around 3 times, the mean scattering time can change by one to two orders of magnitude. © 2013 American Institute of Physics.