E-scooters are all the rage these days. The amped-up version of a kids’ classic ride-on toy is popping up in urban settings everywhere–including Austin, where just recently a main claimed he was suing an e-scooter company for a broken jaw suffered after being thrown off.
As innocent as they seem, these motorized vehicles are quite powerful and can be downright dangerous according to Texas Orthopedics’ Dr. Barbara Bergin.
Dr. Bergin was featured in an article on Healthline about e-scooter safety and the rising number of injuries related to their use.
A recent report issued by the emergency department at Los Angeles Cedars-Sinai Hospital noted that they are seeing an influx of patients needing treatment for head (concussions), wrist, elbow and hip injuries (broken bones, fractures, and lacerations) due to these motorized scooters.
While user error, along with not wearing protective gear (helmets and elbow pads), contribute to injuries, Dr. Bergin says that the biggest threat comes from cars not easily noticing riders.
“Drivers can’t see them very well because of their low profile and small size,” said Dr. Bergin. “They creep up along cars on the shoulder, preferring this to taking their place in the line of traffic. They don’t make much noise, so they often surprise drivers.”
People on scooters are ultimately at a greater risk of being hit by a car than those on bikes or motorcycles.
Tips for safer scootering include:
- Wear protective gear: helmets, elbow pads, knee pads, and brightly colored clothing (especially at night).
- Limit distractions by putting away cell phones and ear buds, as earbuds can silence important sounds needed to navigate busy traffic such as a car’s honk or sirens.
- Follow all traffic signs and rules of the road as if driving a car.
- Never use a scooter during wet, rainy weather to avoid skids and slides.
- Make sure you are properly educated on operating an e-scooter, most essential being how to manage the throttle.
Check out the full article in Healthline featuring Dr. Bergin right here.