A Look at Scooter Accident Statistics as Bellingham Considers Shared E-Scooter Program
E-bikes and E-scooters have exploded in use since 2017, with more and more people using them as an alternative to cars, Uber rides/taxis, walking and public transit. Several metropolitan cities around the country – including Seattle – have approved programs that allow people to share bikes and other types of transportation for a fee; with pick up and drop off sites set up around the city. As reported by the Bellingham Herald, Bellingham is considering changing its laws on electric bikes and motorized scooters and skateboards in order to allow a trial program for shared e-scooters and other types of “micro-mobility” devices by spring 2020. As Bellingham works to update city codes to include uniform rules for a broader range of alternate transportation, a Western Washington University spokesperson indicates their commitment to updating on-campus rules to ensure uniformity with the city. Still, there are issues to be worked out; Councilman Terry Bornemann, for example, is concerned about safety if e-scooters are allowed to share sidewalks with pedestrians.
With the possibility of even more alternative modes of transportation on the roads, this seems like a good time to discuss e-scooter safety and accident statistics.
Scooter accident statistics
A scooter accident study out of Southern California gathered medical records from two UCLA hospitals in Los Angeles and Santa Monica between September 1, 2017 and August 31, 2018. The study, which was released in January, 2019, counted 249 emergency room visits relating to standing electric scooters during the study period.
The vast majority of the injured riders (91.6 percent) were hurt when they fell off the scooter, crashed into another object or were hit by a vehicle/object. A small number of these scooter injuries (8.4 percent) were to pedestrians who crashed into a scooter, tripped over a scooter or were trying to lift a scooter. Only 4.4 percent of those injured in a scooter accident were wearing a helmet. No fatalities were reported but two patients were treated in the intensive care unit.
Ten percent of the injured riders were under the age of 18 and almost a quarter were between the ages of 41 and 64. More than 50 percent of those injured were men.
Another recent study conducted at the Austin (Texas) Department of Health looked at shared e-scooter accident statistics in Austin between September and November, 2018. They found an injury rate of 20 injuries per 100,000 trips, with half suffering head injuries.
Are scooters more dangerous than other types of transportation?
When comparing scooter accident data with emergency room visits to the same two emergency departments involving other types of transportation, it might be concluded that scooters are more dangerous. Compared to the 249 emergency room visits for scooter accidents, researchers identified 195 visits for bicycle injuries and 181 for pedestrian injuries over the same 12-month period. (Fatality data was not gathered and researchers say that they may have underestimated the number of scooter-related ER visits).
Scooter safety tips
- Wear a helmet which can dramatically reduce the risk of head injuries
- Avoid distractions like texting
- Stay alert to pedestrians and vehicles around you
- Never ride while intoxicated
- Make sure the scooter is in good working order
Seek the help of a e-scooter injury lawyer
If you or a loved one was injured because of the negligence of another, contact a personal injury lawyer to discuss your legal rights. Let an experienced accident attorney fight for the full compensation that you deserve. It is not uncommon to receive a settlement from the insurance company that is five to ten times bigger with the help of a lawyer. Call the personal injury lawyers at Tario & Associates, P.S. in Bellingham, WA today for a FREE consultation! We have been representing residents of Whatcom County, Skagit County, Island County and Snohomish County since 1979. You will pay nothing up front and no attorney fees at all unless we recover damages for you!