As the availability and inexpensiveness of electric and motorized scooters has become more common, emergency room physicians across the U.S. saw a corresponding uptick in the number of patients suffering injuries as the result of a scooter crash.
Scooter injuries jumped an alarming 82%. This sharp increase in scooter trauma was reported in a recent study by the University of California, San Francisco.
An easy, low-cost transportation option, scooters can certainly be a useful tool to get around. However we can’t stress enough how imperative it is that operators, especially novice users who are particularly prone to getting hurt, wear a safety helmet and take the time to familiarize themselves with the operation of the vehicle and its rules for use to prevent injury.
Injuries From Scooter Accidents
Injuries from scooter crashes vary widely from minor cuts and bruises to brain injury, including fatalities. In particular, the high rate of head injury to scooter operators is a huge concern. A serious head injury can dramatically alter a person’s life leaving them unable to complete routine, daily tasks on their own without help. The study reports that 1/3 of scooter injury patients had head trauma, double the rate of bicyclists. The simple step of putting on a helmet can be life-saving.
Aside from head injuries, common scooter injuries include fractures (27%), contusions/abrasions (23%), and lacerations (14%). Typical injury locations are the head, wrist, elbow, and hip.
Unsuspecting pedestrians are also victims of scooter crashes when an inexperienced rider crashes into the person or a scooter is left carelessly on the sidewalk causing a tripping hazard.
Lack of Experience on Scooters Resulting in Accidents
Lack of experience is the chief reason so many scooter riders are getting hurt. The vehicles are a relatively new transportation alternative and users and pedestrians alike are still getting used to how they operate and the rules of the road. Novice scooter riders who don’t take the time to familiarize themselves with the operation and safety rules set out by the rental companies.
Riders must obey traffic laws and follow the rules of the roads such as stopping at traffic lights and stop signs. Though sometimes allowed to operate on sidewalks or in the road, riders must go slow and yield to pedestrians on the sidewalk or on a blocked-of street. Just like a reckless motor vehicle driver, a scooter operator speeding, using alcohol or drugs, using a cell phone, and/or acting carelessly, and illegally, is at great risk for injury and crashes. Road conditions like potholes and uneven pavement, as well as adverse weather, can also contribute to scooter crashes. Scooters should not be used in snow or icy conditions.