When it comes to scooters, it appears our grandmothers were right.
"It's all good fun until somebody gets hurt."
Accidents involving electric scooters have been steadily on the rise in recent years with more than 1545 accidents reported this last year. Scooters are a popular rental option for both locals and tourists alike to see the city without having to be concerned about traffic congestion.
The rising use of scooters on the street has prompted fears that safety regulations will not be able to keep up. While many of these rental companies promote safety on their websites, such as wearing helmets, few companies fail to provide them with the scooter rentals. While recommended, some states such as California have removed the legal requirement that helmets must be worn when riding scooters prompting even more substantial concerns.
The difficulty monitoring scooter safety
There have been reports of scooter injuries resulting in ER visits, but it is hard to gain a wide picture of overall scooter safety as scooter injuries are not often tracked by medical facilities, or they are not equipped to provide such reports. Reports were requested from over 60 medical facilities, but only 23 were able to provide any substantial data. What research companies, such as Consumer Reports were able to glean from data, was that there were over 1500 injuries directly related to electric scooter use. Fifty-three injuries were reported in Austin alone in the month of May.
With so few facilities able to provide reports, it is estimated that the amount of e-scooter injuries is significantly higher than suspected. Injuries can range from minor bruises and contusions to even fatalities. A 21-year-old was recently the first fatality in the city of Austin when he took an electronic scooter the wrong way down a busy street and was killed when he collided with an Uber driver.
Portland Bureau of Transportation study
The Portland Bureau of Transportation had a more effective study that was able to determine that the e-scooter rate of accidents averages 2.2 for every 10,000 miles traveled. This rate is concerning as it is significantly higher than the national average of motorbikes, which is around 0.05 accidents per 10,000 miles and cars at 0.1 per 10,000 miles. This study was only conducted on rental e-scooters, so researchers are hoping the overall average, including those who regularly use scooters, is significantly lower.
What do e-scooter companies have to say about recent research?
E-scooter companies say they will continue to provide transportation alternatives that can help reduce the use of cars in larger cities in an effort to create a safer and smarter future for everyone. They say that to ensure safety, riders need to read and incorporate the safety policies before using their services. When it comes to the recent research, they feel that the data is not in the appropriate context and that scooter safety is far greater than riding in cars.
Severe scooter injuries
Cuts and bruises are common concerns when it comes to riding an electronic scooter, but scooter accidents can result in much more severe injuries such as:
- Bone fractures
- Nerve, tendon, and ligament damage
- Severe bleeding
- Sustained organ damage
- Head injury and trauma
With scooter injuries on the rise, it is crucial to follow recommended safety practices. But even when these practices are in place, injuries can occur. If you or a loved one has sustained an injury while on an electronic scooter, you should retain the services of the trusted legal counsel to help you file a settlement to recover the costs related to your injuries and help get you back on your feet again.