Ever since they became popular ways to zip around cities and college campuses, people have focused on scooter rider injuries. The few studies that have been done have reported that there has been an uptick in injuries that have required medical attention in emergency departments. There has also been an increase in scooter versus auto injuries.
Although companies like Lime and Bird require that riders be over 18 and recommend wearing helmets, riders are required to bring their own head protection. One concern that has been largely overlooked, however, is the injuries that pedestrians suffer when they are involved in a scooter accident, as the New York Times reports.
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There are no official counts regarding pedestrians injured by the scooters, but doctors in five cities report badly injured pedestrians are showing up at hospitals multiple times a week. Dr. Wally Ghurabi, medical director of the Emergency Center at Nethercutt Hospital reported that he’s seen injuries like broken hips, multiple fractures, broken ribs, and joint injuries.
Among the injuries reported were a 75-year-old who shattered his knee when he tripped over a scooter in San Diego. A scooter rider in Los Angeles knocked out a 7-year-old boy’s teeth. A 44-year-old woman was hit by a scooter at an intersection in Cincinnati.
Some cities have taken to banning the scooters on sidewalks. The Denver City Council banned scooters from sidewalks following a fatal incident. Scooters must be traveling under six miles per hour to travel on the sidewalks.
Arlington County in Virginia has set the same speed limit and urges scooter operators to use bike lanes where available.