How Many Injuries Have E-Scooters Caused?
A recent study found that more than 40,000 electric scooter injuries occurred between 2014 and 2018 in the U.S. This points out the need for scooter users to practice practical safety steps. Failing to do so exposes both them and the public at large to serious risks.
E-Scooters come with benefits and costs
Automobiles may not the best choice for traveling in urban environments. Increasing traffic means taking much longer to get to your desired destination. Additionally, passenger cars and trucks not only use fossil fuels, but they can also cause serious injuries and even fatalities.
At the same time, other forms of transportation, such as walking or riding bicycles, present serious limitations. Many people have health or fitness issues that prevent them from taking advantage of these options and sometimes your destination is too far for it to be sensible.
E scooters were introduced to American cities several years ago as a safe, fun alternative. But have they lived up to the initial hype? The following facts paint a disturbing picture:
- Emergency rooms across the country treated more than 40,000 scooter-related injuries over a four-year period: Including cuts, bruises, concussions, and broken bones. There were even a few fatalities resulting from scooter use.
- Statistics show an alarming upward trend in the rate of injuries: The scooter injury rate among the general population climbed from six per 100,000 in 2014 to 19 per 100,000 in 2018. This is according to a study conducted by the University of California at San Francisco.
- Scooters are NOT safer than bicycles: On the contrary, scooters present special risks due to their minimal design and electric-powered motors.
- A growing number of cities are limiting the use of scooters or banning them altogether: These rules are a response to growing public concern about the dangers associated with this particular form of transportation.
Ways to stay safe on an e-scooter
This is not to say that scooters are inherently unsafe or that everyone who uses a scooter is reckless or irresponsible. We’re simply saying that scooter riders should follow well-established safety precautions when operating these products. These include:
- Using bike lanes whenever possible: Much of the outcry about scooters stems from riders who use public sidewalks, even when this is prohibited by local law. Pedestrians have as much of a right to a safe environment as everyone else.
- Always wearing a helmet: Studies show that more than 95% of scooter-related injuries occurred when the operator was not using head protection.
- Using scooters only during the daytime and in fair weather: An electric scooter is unsuited for use after dark or in the rain.
- Avoiding safety hazards: Such as puddles, patches of ice, construction zones, and potholes. Users should keep an eye out for potential threats.
- Focusing on the task at hand: Multitasking is rarely a good idea. It can be fatal when riding a scooter.
- Using hand signals: For scooter users, communicating their intention to turn or to perform other basic maneuvers is not only courteous, but it’s also essential.
- Remembering that scooting is a solo activity: One of the most reckless things a scooter user can do is to take on a second party. A scooter’s narrow profile and lack of safeguards mean that multi-passenger use is never appropriate. When you ride, do it alone.
What to do if you’ve been injured in a scooter accident
First, you should see a healthcare professional as soon as possible. Do so even if you believe that you’ve escaped serious injury. Your well-being is too important to risk.
You should also make every effort to document the circumstances surrounding the accident. Talk to witnesses, take pictures, write down key details, and, if possible, have a police officer fill out a written report.
You should also contact a Los Angeles personal injury lawyer to discuss your options for receiving compensation. Trusting at-fault parties or insurance companies to do the right thing can leave you without the funds you need to pay medical bills and meet living expenses. It can also hinder your long-term recovery.
The e-scooter attorneys here at Ellis Injury Law are known and respected throughout LA and Southern California for their cutting-edge legal and investigative skills. Over the years they have recovered more than $350 million for our clients.
Put our expertise to work for you by getting in touch with our office today. Someone is available 24/7 for your convenience. When things go wrong, we want to help make them right.