Know Your Rights: The common causes of e-scooter injuries

As you drive around Kansas City, you will notice an abundance of rental electric scooters (or e-scooters) out and about, whether it be a Lime, Bird, Lyft, or something else. While they are fun and help you get to where you are going quicker and easier than walking or even, in some instances, driving, e-scooters also expose you to potential injuries from careless drivers or hazardous road or sidewalk conditions. Accidents involving these scooters are not uncommon and the injuries can be serious, even fatal. In fact, the first fatality that involved a shared electric kick scooter occurred in Dallas, Texas in September 2018, more have occurred since.

How common are e-scooter injuries and what causes them?

In a study done by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 271 people were identified with potential electric scooter-related injuries during a three-month study period. During this relatively brief study period, there were 20 individuals injured per 100,000 e-scooter trips taken. Of those injured riders, about half sustained head injuries (with 15% experiencing traumatic brain injuries). While a helmet may have prevented or limited the extent of these injuries, only one of 190 injured scooter riders was wearing one.

The CDC research team also took note of where people were being injured. Over half were injured in the street, while 33% were hurt on the sidewalk. Cars or other motorized vehicles factored into 16% of injuries, and only 10% of riders actually collided with a car. Other notable causes of injury include hitting a curb (10%) or some other inanimate object (7%) Such as a light pole or manhole covers. Further, many of the injuries were suffered by first-time electric scooter riders.