The rapid proliferation of e-scooters in the United States has created a dramatic increase in the number of people who are injured while using these dangerous devices. To date, more than 1,500 people have suffered injuries ranging from broken bones to traumatic brain injuries while using e-scooters. While their short stature and unimposing design may look innocuous, these motorized transports can easily take riders on a trip straight to the emergency room.
The Rising Risks of Injuries
E-scooters are making their way into an increasing number of communities. As the companies offering these devices grows, so too does the risk they pose to residents of cities where they operate. Since the collection of data on these devices began in 2017, more than 1,500 e-scooter injuries have been recorded in the United States. This number is likely inaccurate as not all injuries are recorded or require treatment in hospital emergency rooms.
In fact, it is more likely than not that the number of injuries reaches into the tens of thousands. One hospital in Atlanta estimated that they have treated at least 360 people, while another hospital in Nashville has recorded 250 e-scooter injuries. Given the number of cities where e-scooter operators have set up shop, there’s little question that the official estimates of injuries are dramatically understated.
Few Regulations, and No Safety Measures
Few cities have regulations in place to govern the use of e-scooters. These devices can be used without any formal training and users are not required to wear helmets while operating an e-scooter. As some of these motorized machines can reach speeds of up to 30 mph, it means that users face a constant risk of bone fractures, traumatic brain injuries, and deep lacerations should they fall off the scooter or have a collision with a motor vehicle or fixed object. The flimsy design of e-scooters and unregulated maintenance standards and oversight make every trip on an e-scooter a risky adventure.
Many cities are encouraging the growth of e-scooter fleets. Claiming they relieve traffic congestion and increase commercial sales, city leaders see an opportunity to increase revenues and reduce wear and tear on city streets. Of course, this comes at the cost of public safety. Users should be wary of using these devices because of the very real risk they pose to health and safety.