5 On Your Side

5 On Your Side warns: You accept risks when you ride e-scooters

Posted October 16, 2019 5:38 p.m. EDT
Updated October 16, 2019 7:14 p.m. EDT

E-scooter users beware, and, more importantly: Be smart!

A simple ride on an electric scooter could quickly turn terrible.

Medical experts say you accept the risk of a head injury or broken or fractured bones when you hop on one.

A Durham man was critically injured this summer after falling off an e-scooter and being run over by a car.

A rider in Atlanta died this summer after being run over by a bus. Investigators determined the bus driver was not at fault. And in Colorado, a woman suffered a traumatic brain injury when her scooter handle got stuck in a fence in June and sent her flying.

As more people use scooters, more accidents are happening.

WakeMed Hospital in Raleigh has treated 152 scooter injuries so far this year, with 40 of those involving electronic scooters.

Consumer Reports looked into accidents across the country.

They contacted hospitals, municipal agencies and universities in 47 cities where some major scooter companies operate.

The research found that since late 2017 at least 1,500 people were injured in an e-scooter-related accident.

Consumer Reports talked to several doctors at trauma centers who said they had been treating serious injuries related to e-scooters, including broken bones and brain injuries.

More than half of those riders injured did not wear a helmet!

While scooter companies encourage helmets, many cities do not have helmet laws for ride-sharing programs.

And rules on where scooters can be ridden are often ignored, if they even exist. In the Triangle, riding on sidewalks or greenways is not allowed. That puts scooter riders in the street with much bigger, heavier and faster vehicles.

As use increases and new riders jump on, everyone should be vigilant about scooter safety, whether you're on an e-scooter or walking or driving down a street where one might be.

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