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While electric scooters have been around for a while, the new shareable scooters have caused a craze in Los Angeles and other major cities across the United States. Scooter companies Bird and Lime have flooded the streets and sidewalks with electric scooters rentable through a smartphone app. Many are excited about the increased options for public transportation while others are cautious about zipping along on city streets. The fact of the matter is that you should always be cautious and exercise good judgement when riding electric scooters as the injuries sustained can be life-altering.

Dr. Sam Torbati, critical care specialist and medical director at Cedars-Sinai Medical center, has seen an uptick in the frequency of scooter related accidents. Torbati explained they are seeing “Head injuries. We’re seeing facial injuries. We’re seeing patients who injure their shoulders, their wrists.” Even though the rental scooters do not exceed 20 miles per hour, traumatic injuries can still occur. Accidents with a car or truck can be especially traumatic as the force of the vehicle can cause any number of major injuries for the exposed rider. If you choose to ride a rental scooter, always inspect the device before riding. Always follow the rules of the road and wear a helmet.