Electronic scooters are all over the streets and sidewalks these days. These motorized vehicles are a fun and easy way to get around. But some riders are getting seriously injured and ending up in emergency departments.
These are motorized vehicles, not toys! Slick roads, small bumps, mechanical failures can cause riders to fall — it doesn’t take much. These potentially avoidable injuries can be life-changing.
Emergency physicians are seeing increases in scooter-related accidents and injuries to riders and nearby pedestrians. Unsafe and unlucky riders are reporting all sorts of injuries from cuts or scrapes to broken ribs, arms and legs, or even much more serious conditions like head or neck injuries and organ damage.
“Scooters are fun and convenient, but they can be very dangerous if you don’t ride them correctly or follow the rules of the road,” said Vidor Friedman, MD, FACEP, of the American College of Emergency Physicians. “Emergency physicians are treating an increasing number of scooter-related injuries. And, many avoidable injuries can be life-changing. The number one thing you can do to avoid serious harm is to wear a helmet.”
Scoot safe and avoid an emergency:
Wear a helmet. This is the easiest and smartest thing you can do to avoid serious injury.
Learn and observe local rules of the road. Each city is different, some will require you to ride in the street rather than on the sidewalk.
Don’t speed. Start slowly until you get used to the steering and the brakes.
Beware of road hazards such as small bumps, potholes, or loose gravel that can get in the way of the wheels and cause dangerous falls.
Be an alert rider. Pay attention to the traffic, parked cars and pedestrians.
Keep your hands firmly on the handle bars. Don’t carry too many bags, refrain from eating and using your phone.
Before starting your ride, inspect the tires, and check the throttle and brakes to make sure everything works.
Do not consume alcohol before riding a scooter.
Park the scooter upright near a tree, sign or designated area when you’re done riding.