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Michael J. Doyle, Attorney At Law Michael J. Doyle, Attorney At Law
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Electric Scooter Accidents

How Dangerous Is an Electric Scooter?

Electric scooters have become the new and improved way of getting around, especially in cities. Over the past decade, a third of a billion trips were taken on shared scooters and bikes. This is likely because e-scooters are convenient, economical, accessible, and environmentally friendly, making them a popular alternative to driving cars and taking other types of public transportation. In fact, 2019 ridership increased 60% from 2018, demonstrating the popularity of shared e-scooters in the US. New Mexico residents reportedly took an average of 22,000 monthly rides in 2019 on one of the 750 scooters operated by Zagster.

Electric Scooter Accident Statistics

Despite these advantages and uses, however, opponents of electric scooters argue that they’re outright dangerous because they believe that e-scooters are carelessly left on sidewalks and streets and pose risks of injuries to riders, drivers, and pedestrians alike.

Henry Ford researchers pulled data from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and found that between January 2009 and December 2019, more than 100,000 e-scooter related injuries were reported, with head and neck injuries accounting for nearly 28% of the total reported e-scooter related injuries. Specifically, these injuries consisted of the following:

  • Internal organs, including brain injuries, 32.5%
  • Lacerations, 24.9%
  • Contusions and abrasions, 15.6%
  • Concussions, 11.1%
  • Fractures, 7.8%

The Consumer Product Safety Commission found that e-scooters resulted in an estimated 50,000 ER visits and at least 27 deaths between 2017 and 2019, and these injuries and fatalities are increasing each year as e-scooter use skyrockets. As you can see, the growing popularity of electric scooters is giving rise

Electric Scooters vs. Bikes: Which One Is Safer?

When comparing the safety of electric scooters and bikes, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHIS) explains that e-scooter riders sustained more injuries per mile than bicyclists and were twice as likely to get injured from potholes, pavement cracks, lampposts, and signs. However, bicyclists were 3 times as likely to get hit by a car.

These findings make sense, as e-scooter riders and bicyclists have little protection and are exposed to the same hazards that vehicle drivers otherwise are not. However, an IIHS study revealed that e-scooter riders wear helmets at a lower rate than bicyclists, explaining why they are more likely to suffer from skull fractures and loss of consciousness compared to bikers. To illustrate this point, the study revealed that a whopping 66% of bicyclists who went to the ER reported wearing a helmet while only 2% of e-scooter riders interviewed wore a helmet.

Common Causes of E-Scooter Accidents

As you can see from the e-scooter accident data above, these shared “micro-mobility” systems can be dangerous and even fatal if not used properly. Reckless operating is not a common cause of e-scooter accidents like one may think, but various other factors lead to these incidents. That being said, frequent causes of electric scooter accidents include:

  • Lack of experience: The IIHS study found that 40% of the e-scooter riders interviewed sustained injuries on their first ride, demonstrating that a lack of experience can increase the chances of getting hurt on an e-scooter.
  • No helmet: E-scooter companies do not offer helmets and there is little chance this will happen anytime soon. By the same token, e-scooter riders don’t tend to bring their own helmets, either. This is a recipe for disastrous injuries.
  • Distracted riding: Just as distracted driving is a serious safety hazard, so is distracted riding. Texting, changing music, eating and drinking, and other distractions spell trouble for e-scooter riders.
  • Speeding: One of the leading causes of e-scooter injuries is speeding. These scooters can reach speeds up to 15 mph, which is high enough to lead to serious injuries during an accident.
  • Poor surface conditions: Potholes, uneven pavements, cracks, and wet surfaces are dangerous surface conditions that can lead to injuries.
  • Distracted drivers: Many e-scooter riders use the streets and sidewalks to get around. Given their proximity to the roads, however, e-scooter riders risk getting hit by distracted drivers. They are hard to spot in comparison to motor vehicle drivers, which doesn’t help.

E-Scooter Safety Tips

With all this information in mind, you will benefit from knowing some important safety tips for riding electric scooters. This relatively new mode of transportation makes it easy for riders to sustain injuries, but e-scooters injuries can best be prevented by doing the following:

  • Wearing a helmet, knee and elbow pads
  • Wearing appropriate, non-constrictive clothing while riding
  • Understanding the specifications, features, and capabilities of the specific e-scooter you are riding
  • Observing traffic laws
  • Focusing on the path ahead
  • Being alert for pedestrians, cars, and other obstacles

Injured on an E-Scooter? We’ve Got Your Back.

Michael J. Doyle, Attorney at Law, represents clients who suffered injuries through no fault of their own. Whether your e-scooter malfunctioned, you were hit by a distracted driver, or you rode over a dangerous pavement that belongs to a business or government entity, we can help you.

Our lawyer is ready to examine your case to determine if you have a claim. To get started, contact us at (505) 219-2176!