DENVER — Electric scooters are a fun and easy way to get around, but are they potentially unsafe too? Although there are no national numbers on injuries just yet, we are seeing a big increase in the numbers of people coming into the Emergency Department after a scooter accident.
Scooters are potentially unsafe for several reasons, especially since some scooters can get up to 20-30 miles per hour speeds. Although scooter companies may ask riders to wear helmets, often, people are not wearing helmets and may have multiple people on one scooter.
In some areas of Colorado, scooters are considered “toy vehicles” and must be ridden on sidewalks. The uneven sidewalks, as well as dodging other pedestrians can also be challenging even for an expert scooter rider. There have also been reported malfunctions on scooters and people who are hit by cars who are not expecting scooters.
Don’t underestimate how badly you can get hurt from a scooter. It may be a toy vehicle classification, but there are so many serious injuries.
The types of injuries we are seeing in the Emergency Department are primarily: car vs scooter, head and neck injuries, hand/wrist injuries, lower extremity injuries, and road rash from skidding out or falling off the scooter.
Tips to keep you safe while riding a scooter:
- Wear a helmet
- Expect cars not to see you (defensive scooting)
- Stay under 10 mph
- Watch for bumps in the road/sidewalk
- Avoid using if drinking or using drugs
- Don’t carry anything in your hands (e.g. cell phone, coffee)