Perhaps you were among the many in Minnesota who eagerly awaited the arrival of electric scooters. This new transportation trend has taken the nation by storm, and e-scooter rental companies are popping up in cities from coast to coast. These lightweight vehicles offer riders many benefits. They are ridiculously cheap to rent, require no special training or license to operate, and will supposedly protect the environment by reducing the number of cars on the road.
What e-scooters are not reducing, however, is the number of trips to the emergency room. University and medical researchers have begun compiling data related to the number and kinds of injuries e-scooter accidents can cause.
Common accidents and injuries
Researchers focused on scooters injury victims brought to emergency rooms last year. About 28 percent of accident victims suffered scrapes, bruises, sprains and other minor injuries. However, 40 percent arrived with fractured bones, and nearly a third suffered a traumatic injury to the head. This may be because nearly 96 percent of scooter riders fail to wear helmets. No law requires it, and scooter rentals do not provide them.
The most common circumstances that lead to scooter accidents are the following:
- Colliding with objects
- Being hit by other vehicles
- Falling off the scooter
Falls can occur in several ways. The scooter design is flimsy, to say the least. The slightest bump in the sidewalk may set the scooter off balance, dumping you to the pavement. If you strike the curb or a stone, you may find yourself spilling onto the road in the middle of moving traffic. Additionally, many riders find that the scooter controls are difficult to manage. Breaking suddenly or starting too quickly may cause a dangerous fall.
Safety regulations in the future
As more cities welcome e-scooter rental companies, you can take precautions such as using both hands when operating a scooter, obeying traffic laws and always wearing a helmet. Remaining alert as a pedestrian is important, too, since numerous pedestrians have suffered injuries when scooters hit them or when they tripped over scooters left in their paths.
Because the scooter industry is so new, you may be confused about what you can do to seek compensation if you should suffer injuries in a scooter accident. Seeking legal advice may be in your best interests.