If you visit any densely populated downtown district in the U.S., you’ll notice that you can rent electronic scooters right there from the sidewalk. These often don’t come with helmets and there’s no one there to check to see if you know how to ride one. All that the companies renting them care about is getting your money. This is perhaps one of the reasons that these e-scooter injuries are quickly approximating bicycle ones in Los Angeles.
Researchers who worked on the much-awaited study published just today in the American Medical Association’s JAMA Network Open argue that electric scooter operators fail to fully grasp the dangers that these vehicles pose.
Although these e-scooters can only move at a maximum speed of 15 miles per hour (MPH), improperly operating one can leave you with serious injuries.
One of the biggest problems with them stems from the fact that few local laws regulate their use, specifically when it comes to helmet use. In many jurisdictions, there aren’t any codes that prohibit kids from renting them or from users from operating them while distracted.
Researchers working on the study analyzed University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) Medical Center e-scooter victim records from 2017 and 2018. They found that all but nine percent of those who were injured were hurt as riders. The reminder of those who came to the emergency room with injuries were pedestrians.
At least 80 percent of those injured were hurt when they fell off their scooters. Another nine percent were struck by a moving object or car. At least 11 percent collided with a static one.
Of those injured, 40 percent of them suffered head injuries, 28 percent were bruised or cut and another 32 percent had broken bones. Six percent of those individuals had injuries that were serious enough that it warranted them being admitted to the hospital for additional treatment.
The researchers also found that the number of e-scooter crashes in Los Angeles is similar to the number of bicycle ones. No research has been performed to see how these numbers compare to car or motorcycle crashes.
Scooter accident victims should follow many of the same steps that bicyclists should if they’re involved in a serious crash. They should first seek medical treatment then consult with a bicycle accidents attorney who can advise them of their right to file a claim for damages.