Are Electric Scooter Accidents Causing Serious Brain Injuries?
Sep 08, 2019 21:04
Electric scooters like those from Lime, Spin, and Bird are popping up in cities across the United States, offering a fun alternative to bike shares, public transits, and Uber. For a few dollars, riders can grab a scooter, kick off, and go whizzing through city streets at speeds of up to 20 mph and it’s no surprise they’re popular.
Still, popularity isn’t a good enough reason to opt for a new form of transit, especially if it’s not safe, as seems to be the case with scooters. According to research by Austin Public Health and reported by The Verge, there were about 20 injuries per 100,000 e-scooter trips; about half of those injured suffered head injuries and 15% experienced traumatic brain injuries.
An Epidemic Of Injuries
Twenty injuries per 100,000 trips may seem like relatively few injuries at first glance, but it’s important to put this number in context. While there are about 11 motor vehicle fatalities per 100,000 US residents in a given year, this actually only comes out to 1.13 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles traveled. Considering how much shorter most e-scooter trips are and that there are far fewer scooters in circulation than cars, injuries and even fatalities are disproportionately common among e-scooter riders, and many aren’t sure who’s to blame.
Questions Of Liability
While there are certainly reckless scooter riders out there, just as there are reckless drivers, preliminary research and interviews with riders suggests that electric scooters may not actually function well on a consistent basis. In an interview with KXAN, Paul Clough described riding a scooter that came to a sudden stop, throwing him off and leaving home with a broken femur and enormous medical bills.
Clough would like to see the option to buy into insurance when renting a scooter, but that alone won’t sufficiently address issues of corporate liability, particularly for those with more lasting injuries. Clough’s leg will heal, but those who experience a traumatic brain injury due to a business’s negligence may not be so lucky. Electric scooter companies need to demonstrate that their products are safe and provided additional safety protections, such as helmet rentals or more thorough operating instructions.
A Lasting Impact
For those who experience a traumatic brain injury while performing a recreational activity like riding a scooter, life may never be the same. Unlike many other types of injury that may leave a scar but otherwise heal, traumatic brain injuries can have long-term effects including memory loss, mood swings, language impairment, seizures, paralysis, and an increased risk of neurological conditions later in life. We’ve seen the lasting damage brain injuries can cause to soldiers, football players, and others involved in dangerous, high-impact activities, but riding a scooter shouldn’t cause comparable harms.
E-scooters have already claimed their first fatalities and they mix poorly with conventional vehicles on busy city streets; a significant number of those injured while riding were hit by cars. Despite this fact, it’s the strange cases – the cases in which something seemed to go wrong with the scooter itself that are truly concerning and suggest they should be removed from circulation. That’s what happened to Karen Riggott, age 50, who crashed during her first scooter ride, fracturing her skull. Once at the hospital, her husband found that they were not the only ones there dealing with scooter-related head injuries. He’s now fighting to get the motorized scooters off San Diego’s streets.
High speeds, no helmets, and generally inexperienced riders – most crashes involve those who have taken 9 or fewer rides – are a bad combination and we wouldn’t allow larger vehicles with this kind of danger profile to take to the streets. Cities need to reconsider permitting e-scooter companies to operate on their streets, or they may share in the eventual liability claims.
Riding a motorcycle for the first time is almost as exciting as the day you pass your test. That’s the day you get complete freedom and when you need to get to your local bike sales store and choose the right bike for your needs. Read more
Something as simple as an oil change and the type of oil used in those changes does not interest most people. However, the type of oil used in a car actually has a large impact on the efficiency of the car. Using conventional oil will not flat out destroy a car but that does not mean that the benefits of using a synthetic oil instead should be ignored. Synthetic oil offers so many benefits over conventional oil that it has become much more popular throughout the years and it is worth the time of at least considering using this type of oil in your car. Read more
Buying yourself a new vehicle is always a task worth taking your time over. There are so many options within each different section of automobiles that narrowing down your preferences and matching what’s out there to your budget can be a seemingly impossible task. It can sometimes be tempting to take the first good offer you see in case another doesn’t come along but resist the urge to make your decision too hastily. First, make a note of what you want from your vehicle and how much you want to spend. Perhaps you hadn’t considered the possibility of getting rid of your car in exchange for a truck or didn’t realize that a truck might suit your needs better. Here are a few reasons why a truck might be the right choice for you. Read more