Major cities across the United States are seeing the rise of yet another transportation-sharing program, but in this case, the idea has been receiving some pushback.
First, there were Uber and Lyft, the ride-booking programs involving personal vehicles. Then we saw bike-sharing programs that allow people to borrow a bike from a docking station to use for a few hours. The newest phenomenon involves electric scooters. Companies are trying to mimic the bike-sharing programs using scooters, but due to some safety issues, there’s now some pushback on this trend, including right here in Denver.
Emergency Rooms Are Seeing More Scooter Injuries
One doctor in California put out a dire warning when it comes to electric scooters. He said, “It’s just a matter of time before someone is killed. I’m absolutely certain of it.” In fact, someone had already died in a scooter accident in Dallas while using a shared scooter. And, according to a recent national news story, emergency rooms are starting to see more and more people who have been injured, some seriously, while riding a motorized scooter.
Scooters may look like toys and be perceived as innocent modes of easy transportation, but they are putting people in danger because safety regulations are lacking, especially when it comes to the scooter-sharing companies. Safety officials are concerned not only about regulations, but also about maintenance when it comes to the scooters, especially issues that could cause someone riding the scooter to be involved in an accident involving other pedestrians.
Because scooter-sharing is somewhat new, cities, such as Denver, are putting some limitations on how many and where scooter docking stations can be placed and how many scooters a company can have for use. Other cities are also putting limitations on such businesses until their concerns can be addressed.
Physicians Highlight Dangers of Electric Scooters
Because the issue of electric scooter injuries has come to light in the past few weeks, you can find a lot of articles highlighting this topic. One consistent message comes from the people in the medical community, who say those riding scooters are putting themselves and others in danger if they fail to get proper training and wear safety equipment, such as a helmet. Equally as important are traffic laws. Officials note that some of those riding scooters don’t feel like they have to follow traffic laws.
One doctor wrote an article for a national news outlet noting, “I recently treated such a rider at the Shepherd Center in Atlanta, where we focus on neurotraumas, like spinal cord injuries and traumatic brain injuries (TBI). My patient, who wasn’t wearing a helmet, suffered a severe TBI in a collision with a car.” Officials emphasize that scooter riders must follow all traffic laws to keep themselves as safe as possible.
A big issue for those riding these electric scooters is that they can get lost in traffic and be hard to see, especially in a driver’s blind spot. Add to that, those riding scooters are doing so without safety equipment, and if involved in an accident with a vehicle, a scooter rider can sustain serious, if not deadly injuries. This is something doctors are screaming about, and yet some states are actually reducing safety requirements for scooter riders.