The Dangers of Electric Scooters
Over the past decade, electric scooters have surged in popularity as an economical, eco-friendly mode of transportation. Electric scooters or e-scooters allow people to navigate heavy traffic easily. As such, they are seen as a practical alternative to cars and bikes, especially in urban areas. This has led to scooter-sharing startups by companies such as Bird, Spin, Gotcha, Bolt and Lime. Renting scooters from these companies is possible by downloading the respective company’s mobile application, inputting your credit/debit card information, and choosing a scooter. These applications also allow you to locate available scooters in your vicinity. However, the small size, lack of safety features and high speeds of electric scooters have led to a rising trend of scooter related accidents.
Though electric scooters may seem safe, there are many dangers associated with their use. Electric scooters are unstable and road hazards can cause them to swerve uncontrollably. The lack of external or built-in safety features also adds to the danger of riding an electric scooter. Not to mention that new and inexperienced riders often partake in reckless behavior that leaves pedestrians and other riders prone to harm. According to EurekAlert, about 40,000 injuries occurred due to electric scooters in the U.S. between 2014 and 2018. The rate of scooter accidents was also found to have increased throughout the years, from 6 accidents per 100,000 people in 2014 to 19 per 100,000 in 2018. Common injuries include fractures, contusions, abrasions, and lacerations.
If you are planning on riding on an electric scooter, here are some measures you can take to prevent accidents:
Helmet use: Nearly a third of people hospitalized as a result of scooter related accidents suffered from head trauma. Wearing a helmet is generally associated with a lower risk of head injury.
Avoid sharing a scooter: Riding a scooter in tandem with another person can be very dangerous and increase the chances of an accident from occurring.
Use care on sidewalks: A significant number of accidents occurred from scooter riders colliding with pedestrians on sidewalks. Riders should use care when using sidewalks.
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