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How safe are electric scooters?

Southern California is infamous for its traffic congestion, and it only seems to be getting worse. Persistent street congestion and gridlock can make traveling by car a nightmare. You could take public transportation, but schedules are not always reliable. What are your options?

Enter the electric scooter. Over the past two years, electric scooters have become wildly popular in Southern California as a green alternative to driving. Because of the increase in popularity along with safety concerns, California has established state-wide laws regulating scooter use.

Dangers of electric scooters

The most common scooter-related accidents are falls, collisions with objects and riders getting struck by motor vehicles. These accidents can result in bone fractures, sprains, cuts and bruises and head trauma. A recent study showed that 36% of those who went to the emergency room for scooter-related medical treatment sustained head injuries.

Electric scooters pose potential dangers to riders and pedestrians. You can help prevent serious injuries by being aware of these electric scooter concerns:

  • Sidewalks. It’s illegal to ride on the sidewalk, but a lot of people do it. Scooters ridden on sidewalks increase the chance of a scooter/pedestrian accident. Objects like poles, trash cans and benches also pose a risk to riders.
  • Speed. Scooters can travel up to 20 mph. If the rider has an accident at this speed, there could be a significant injury to the rider or bystander. The faster the speed, the higher the likelihood for serious injuries.
  • Cars. Riders are supposed to follow bicycle laws, but because that doesn’t always happen, there is a higher risk of scooter/automobile accidents. Scooters are small and less visible to motorists because of parked cars or other objects in the roadway.
  • Abandoned scooters. Scooters do not have docking stations, meaning riders can leave them in any public space. This is convenient, but problems can arise when scooters are left on sidewalks, creating an unsafe environment for pedestrians and riders alike.

Choosing a scooter can have several advantages over driving a car, including often getting from A to B faster. Cities across California and the U.S. are passing scooter regulations to protect public health. Whether you are a scooter rider or not, it’s essential to be aware of the dangers they can impose on users and pedestrians.

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