At least 100 cities around the world have begun allowing individuals to use stand-up electronic scooters (e-scooters) in recent years. Researchers have been monitoring the uptick in use of these motor vehicles in California and other states. They’ve found that reports of e-scooter-related injuries and deaths have steadily increased as more of these vehicles have been introduced to area streets.
Rental companies like Bird and Lime continue to attract customers looking for a convenient and inexpensive way to quickly get around town. Many cities have high concentrations of e-scooter pickup stations downtown and in other highly trafficked areas. They can generally be rented for $1. Users then pay 15 cents per minute to use them. They travel up to 15 miles per hour.
The injury risk that e-scooter operators face doesn’t seem to faze them. Data published by the National Association of City Transportation Officials shows that nearly 40 million Americans rented e-scooters last year.
Data compiled by The Associated Press shows that there have already been 11 reported e-scooter operator deaths during the past two years in the United States. Two of those fatalities happened to individuals riding their own personal scooters. The remaining deaths occurred on rented ones.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) researchers performed a three-month study on e-scooters in Texas in 2018. Approximately 192 operators were injured during that short period of time. Close to 50% of those who were hurt suffered head injuries. At least 15% were traumatic brain injuries. At least 99% of those who were hurt weren’t wearing helmets.
Many e-scooter rental companies have their users sign disclosures confirming that they’re at least 18 years of age before they’re allowed to unlock a scooter. They recommend that their users wear helmets and that they follow all applicable electric bike laws. These policies are seldom enforced though.
Some rental companies have stopped making their scooters available after midnight to reduce the chance of an intoxicated individual renting a scooter. They’ve also improved the braking and suspension systems that they have. They’ve lobbied lawmakers to increase funding for designated bike lanes as well.
E-scooter operators often suffer serious injuries when they’re involved in crashes. If a negligent Sacramento motorist has left you permanently injured, then a personal injury attorney can advise you of your right to receive compensation for medical costs and other related expenses.