- With the rise of electric scooter companies like Lime and Bird in cities, there has been a sharp increase in the rate of injury while riding said scooters.
- Between 2014 and 2018, the number of electric-scooter-related injuries jumped from about 4,500 to nearly 15,000, according to a new study.
- People between the ages of 18 to 34 who live in cities are the most likely to get injured.
- Between 2017 and 2018, e-scooter injuries reported by millennials more than doubled, to over 5,300 from around 2,100.
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Electric scooter-riding millennials in cities are the most likely group to get injured while riding a scooter, according to a new study published this week.
Of the nearly 15,000 electric-scooter-related injuries sustained in 2018, over one-third were sustained by Millennials aged 18 to 34. Over 12,000 of the nearly 15,000 injuries took place in cities.
Given that companies like Lime, Bird, Uber, and Lyft offer rentable electric scooters in places like Los Angeles and San Francisco, the study’s results aren’t particularly surprising. Both companies explicitly target young professionals in urban environments, and none of the companies offer helmets alongside the scooters.
The companies offering these devices often require riders to wear safety gear (like helmets), and their apps instruct riders to use bike lanes and stay off sidewalks, but few riders carry helmets with them, and few cities have dedicated or protected bike lanes. Regardless of the laws or rules governing scooter safety, the reality of riding an electric scooter is tremendously dangerous.
The scooters themselves offer little in the way of protection, especially when riders are moving alongside cars, trucks, and buses on city roads.
As a result, many riders take to sidewalks, which puts pedestrians at risk of colliding with a person on a scooter.
“Many riders choose to break the law and stick to the sidewalks anyway, because the alternative is much scarier,” Business Insider’s Irene Jiang wrote in December. “Safety is reliant on mutual understanding and respect between rider and driver, and that’s not a lot to gamble your life on.”