Whether you’re driving or walking through the city, you are sure to pass by a row of Bird or Lime Scooters parked on the sidewalk. While they offer convenience to the everyday commuter, they are also responsible for an increase in rider and pedestrian accidents across the country. The Journal of the American Medical Association has released their study on e-scooters in the Southern California area, and their findings are shocking.
UCLA researchers found that more than 249 people had been treated for these accidents at both Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center and the UCLA Medical Center in Santa Barbara between August 2017 and September 2018. Only 10 of these patients had been wearing a helmet at the time of the accident. Just last year, California Governor Jerry Brown passed legislation that loosened safety regulations and removed the helmet requirement for riders over the age of 18. Though wearing helmets can offer protection for the rider, it may not be enough. According to Dr. Fredrick Rivara, injury control researcher, “there are no data on whether bicycle helmets would provide adequate protection against serious (traumatic brain injury) for these motorized devices, which can attain higher speeds that would be achieved by most bicyclists on flat roads.”
We are also seeing an increase in scooter-caused pedestrian accidents, mostly with the disabled and elderly who have a much more difficult time avoiding oncoming riders. Wally Ghurabi, medical director of the Nethercutt Emergency Center at the UCLA Medical Center in Santa Monica, has seen many of these pedestrians come in with “broken hips, multiple bone fractures, broken ribs, joint injuries, and soft tissue injuries from lacerations and deep abrasions.”
With the release of injury reports such as these, Lime, one of the largest e-scooter companies, has decided to invest more than $3 million to “promote safe-riding behavior and proper etiquette.” Fellow e-scooter company, Bird has also employed “Bird Watchers” to ensure that all their scooters are parked correctly and not creating a walking or driving hazard.
Are these scooters worth the risk? It depends. “There’s good and bad as far the technology,” said Dr. Tarak Trivedi, lead author of the study and emergency room physician at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles. The key is being aware of the risks and knowing there is a “public health impact.”
After more than 25 years representing injury victims in car wrecks, truck wrecks, and motorcycle accidents, the experienced team of professional accident attorneys at Reyes Browne Reilley have seen the consequences of negligence first-hand. If you have sustained injuries because of a car wreck which was not your fault, contact us now for a free and confidential case review. Fill out our form online, or call (214) 526-7900, and we will get you on the road to recovery.