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Common Rideshare Scooter Injuries and Prevention Tips

What are the most common rideshare scooter injuries, and why should riders be cautious? This article directly answers these pressing concerns with up-to-date statistics and no-nonsense facts, setting a clear expectation for the reader.

Key Takeaways

  • Rideshare scooters’ rising popularity is accompanied by an increase in accident rates, with rider behavior and scooter maintenance being significant factors.

  • The most common e-scooter injuries include broken bones, head and brain injuries, spinal and neck injuries, lacerations and abrasions, as well as soft tissue injuries.

  • Preventing e-scooter accidents is possible through proper safety gear usage such as helmets, adherence to safe riding practices, regular maintenance of scooters, and understanding legal rights post-accident.

Increasing Popularity of Rideshare Scooters and Accident Rates

There’s no denying it: e-scooters have taken the world by storm. Electric scooter trips in the United States alone surged to 84 million rides in 2018, a significant rise from the previous year. And it’s not just the U.S; global electric scooter and bicycle sales are forecasted to hit 129 million units by 2028. Major cities worldwide are humming with the sound of these sleek, compact machines, as e-scooter companies continue to grow rapidly.

But as the popularity of these e-scooters escalates, so too does the number of serious electric scooter injuries and accidents. In the past few years, over 1,500 electric scooter accidents have been reported in the U.S. This alarming figure has thrown a spotlight onto the dark side of this transportation trend, highlighting the urgent need for safety measures to protect our scooter riders from electric scooter accident risks.

Factors Contributing to Accidents

A closer look at the causes of these accidents reveals a complex mix of factors. Rider behavior plays a crucial role in electric scooter accidents. Riding at high speeds, not wearing helmets, or under the influence of alcohol significantly increases the risk of severe injuries, particularly to the head and face,.

It’s not just the riders’ actions that contribute to accidents with electric scooter companies. The state of the e-scooters themselves is a factor. A scooter with poorly maintained tires or a faulty braking system can lead to accidents. Therefore, both riders and e-scooter companies need to play their part in promoting safety.

Top 5 Most Common Injuries Sustained in Rideshare Scooter Accidents

With the rise in e scooter use, comes a corresponding increase in injuries. In fact, for every 100,000 e-scooter trips, there are 20 riders injured.

Let’s delve into the top five most common injuries sustained in rideshare scooter accidents.

Broken or Fractured Bones

 Rideshare Scooter Injuries

When riders take a fall or collide with another object, broken bones are a common outcome. These injuries frequently involve the upper extremities such as the arms and wrists,. The reason for this is instinctive; when we fall, we instinctively extend our arms to break the fall, thereby exposing them to the risk of fractures and dislocations. The result? A trip to the emergency room and a painful recovery period.

These injuries can be severe, requiring medical treatment ranging from casts and splints to surgery in some cases. The road to recovery can be long and tedious, not to mention the potential for long-term complications such injuries caused as reduced mobility or chronic pain.

Head and Traumatic Brain Injuries

Head injuries are prevalent in e-scooter accidents, and they can be severe. When a rider falls, the head can impact the ground obliquely, leading to:

  • Concussions due to linear and rotational accelerations

  • Traumatic brain injuries like concussions (15% of individuals in scooter incidents)

  • Skull fractures (3% of individuals in scooter incidents)

Head and brain injuries, including facial injuries, can lead to life threatening injuries such as traumatic subarachnoid hemorrhage, skull fractures, and intracranial hemorrhages. These serious injuries require emergency care and careful monitoring for potential complications.

The implications of these injuries can be long-term, affecting the victim’s cognitive and physical abilities, sometimes permanently.

Spinal Cord and Neck Injuries

While spinal cord injury is less common than head and bone injuries, spinal cord injuries are significant risks in e scooter accidents. These e scooter injuries often involve conditions like whiplash, which can cause severe pain and require extensive physical therapy.

In some cases, the electric scooter riders can sustain serious spinal injuries, such as a nondisplaced fracture of the right posterior C2 arch, indicative of the type of cervical spine fractures possible. These injuries can lead to long-term disability, making them some of the most devastating outcomes of e-scooter accidents.

Lacerations and Abrasions

Cuts, abrasions, and lacerations are typical injuries resulting from scooter accidents. These may seem minor injuries compared to head or spinal injuries, but they can have significant implications. Deep cuts or tears in the skin can leave scars, which, aside from their physical impact, can also cause emotional distress due to their visible nature.

Moreover, these wounds carry the risk of infection if not properly treated. This makes immediate and appropriate wound care crucial following a scooter accident to prevent complications.

Soft Tissue Injuries (Sprains and Strains)

Soft tissue injuries, such as sprains and strains, are the most common injury outcomes of scooter accidents. These injuries often involve the wrists and ankles, leading to significant pain and a variable recovery period.

While vast majority of these injuries might not necessitate hospital admission, the pain and inconvenience they cause can significantly affect the individual’s daily life. Prolonged rest might be required, and in some cases, physiotherapy may be necessary for full recovery.

Prevention Tips for Rideshare Scooter Riders

While the risks associated with e-scooters are real, the good news is that many of these accidents and injuries can be prevented. Simple measures such as wearing a helmet can reduce the risk of head injuries by 85%. Wearing reflective clothing can make riders more visible to drivers, especially during the night.

Safe riding behaviors are also crucial. These include:

  • Not riding on sidewalks, which are often illegal and dangerous

  • Avoiding distractions such as headphones to stay alert to the sounds of traffic and potential hazards

  • Being especially cautious at intersections, where most accidents occur.

Proper Helmet Use

 Rideshare Scooter Injuries

A critical safety measure is the use of helmets. Unfortunately, helmet use among e-scooter riders is low, particularly among those who have sustained head injuries during accidents. One way to encourage helmet use is by choosing helmets in appealing colors and designs, which can make the safety gear more attractive to riders.

Children, in particular, have lower rates of helmet use compared to adults, signaling the need for special attention to encourage helmet use through appealing designs and awareness campaigns. In addition to helmets, riders should consider other protective gear such as gloves, elbow pads, and knee pads to further reduce the risk of head injury too.

Safe Riding Practices

Apart from wearing a helmet, other safe riding practices can make a big difference in preventing accidents involving motor vehicles. Following road safety laws, avoiding riding under the influence of substances, and staying away from busy main roads can significantly enhance safety.

To ensure your safety while riding an electric scooter, it is important to follow these guidelines:

  1. Avoid distractions, such as using your phone, as it reduces your focus on the road and potential hazards.

  2. Ride solo to maintain the scooter’s balance and stability, especially when turning or looking back.

  3. Avoid using electric scooters in adverse weather conditions to prevent accidents.

  4. Circumvent pedestrian areas to reduce the risk of collisions.

By following these guidelines, you can enjoy a safe and enjoyable ride on your electric scooter.

Regular Scooter Maintenance

 Rideshare Scooter Injuries

Keeping the e-scooter in good condition is another important safety measure. Before each ride, inspect the scooter for:

  • Throttle and brake operation

  • Tire condition and pressure

  • Battery levels

  • Functionality of lights, particularly in dark conditions

Regular inspections can help maintain ride safety by:

  • Identifying and repairing any loose or damaged parts

  • Constantly checking and tightening screws and bolts to prevent them from loosening due to vibrations

  • Monitoring battery health to extend its lifespan and ensure consistent performance.

Lastly, proper storage of the scooter in a dry place, shielded from extreme temperatures and direct sunlight, can protect it from damage. Regular cleaning and lubricating necessary components can prevent wear and tear and ensure a smooth ride.

If you’re unfortunate enough to be involved in an e-scooter accident, it’s important to know your legal rights. Determining liability in these accidents often depends on local traffic laws, the behavior of the scooter rider, what injuries occurred and the actions of others involved. The legal principle of comparative fault assesses the degree of fault of each party in an accident and adjusts compensation accordingly.

If an electric scooter malfunction leads to an accident, the manufacturer or retailer might be held responsible under product liability law. Injured scooter riders should report accidents to the relevant insurance company and provide detailed accounts of the incident for insurance claims. However, personal insurance policies from major companies may not always cover e-scooter accidents, prompting the need to check the scooter company’s insurance policy.

Summary

In conclusion, the surge in popularity of e-scooters has brought convenience and excitement to our urban commutes. However, it’s essential to be aware of the risks involved and take measures to ensure our safety. From wearing helmets and adopting safe riding practices to regular scooter maintenance, we each have a part to play in preventing accidents. And should an accident occur, knowing our legal rights can help navigate the aftermath. Let’s keep our streets safe and our rides enjoyable by embracing these safety measures.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the most common injuries from e-scooter accidents?

The most common injuries from e-scooter accidents are broken or fractured bones, head and back injuries related traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord and neck injuries, lacerations and abrasions, and soft tissue injuries such as sprains and strains. It is important to be aware of these risks when using e-scooters.

How can I prevent injuries while riding an e-scooter?

To prevent injuries while riding an e-scooter, make sure to wear a helmet, follow road safety laws, avoid distractions, and maintain your scooter regularly. These measures are essential for your safety and well-being.

What safety gear should I wear while riding an e-scooter?

When riding an e-scooter, it’s important to wear a helmet, gloves, elbow pads, and knee pads to lower the risk of injury. Taking these precautions can help protect you personal injury while enjoying your ride.

How can I maintain my e-scooter to ensure a safe ride?

To ensure a safe ride on your e-scooter, it’s crucial to regularly inspect tire condition, pressure, throttle and brake operation, and battery levels. Additionally, monitor battery health, tighten screws and bolts, and clean and lubricate necessary components.

In the event of an e-scooter accident, legal rights depend on factors such as local traffic laws and rider behavior. If the accident is caused by a scooter malfunction, the manufacturer or retailer may be held responsible. It’s crucial to report the accident to the insurance company and provide detailed accounts for any potential claims.

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