Motorized Scooter Injuries
A new study published in the American Journal of Otalaryngology has proven that there has been a rise in the incidence of craniofacial injuries and patterns of injury related to motorized scooter use. As the popularity of motorized scooters has grown, so have the safety concerns regarding them.
Scooter regulation is also limited due to the fact that companies like Bird and Lime entered the city well before it had time to regulate their use or provide safety guidelines. However, the City of Atlanta has been working to regulate their usage. The city passed a resolution on March 4th that asks hospitals and healthcare facilities to voluntarily track injuries related to scooters. According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, “Atlanta City Council President Felicia Moore said she hopes the data will help the City Council write new safety requirements.” Data does not currently exist for Atlanta, but Grady Memorial Hospital, “estimated it receives between 80 and 100 scooter-related injuries per month, ranging from serious head injuries to broken limbs.”
The scooters that can be seen in Atlanta, particularly on the Belt Line (where they are not supposed to be ridden but little regulation occurs) are technically called “e-scooters” and can be rented through your smartphone. Companies like Bird and Lime charge by the mile for use of these dockless scooters. For more information about the history of scooters in our area, Atlanta Magazine has a good overview of their invasion and the subsequent drive to have them regulated as injuries and annoyance levels piled up.
These scooters draw attention not only for their potential for accidents, but also for littering the sidewalks, causing disturbances in walking-only areas, and for obstructing sidewalks for disabled persons in wheelchairs or other mobility devices.
Despite their drawbacks, scooters are an incredibly popular way to get around urban Atlanta, and they likely aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. Here are some ways that you can reduce your risk of injury while riding a scooter:
- Pay attention to signage. Scooters aren’t allowed in many places for a reason, namely that it is dangerous for both pedestrians and riders to have them in that location.
- Wear a helmet. This is the easiest way to reduce the risk of cranial, facial, and neck injuries while riding a scooter. Children are particularly vulnerable as their bones are still growing, so make sure that your child is wearing an age-appropriate helmet.
- Check the equipment. Low tires and balding tread on scooters can cause accidents, so be sure you take the time to assess the scooter before beginning your trip.
- Ride Aware. It’s easy to become involved in the fun and freedom of riding a scooter, but in urban areas, pedestrians and other barriers can abound. It’s important to be aware of your surroundings and yield to pedestrians.
These suggestions might help you reduce the severity of an accident, but just like with a car crash, sometimes being safe doesn’t always mean not getting hurt. If you or someone you know (including pedestrians) have been affected by unsafe e-scooters, please reach out to us. Our team of personal injury lawyers will fight for the compensation you deserve.