Orthopedic Injuries on the Rise from Electric Scooter Use
You’ve seen them around. Convenient, quick, and easy to use, electric scooters have taken American cities by storm. Along with the rest of the country, Atlanta’s neighborhoods are filled with riders on little electric scooters whipping their way about town. If you’re a rider of electric scooters—or even if you’re just walking in their vicinity—there are safety concerns to consider.
A Rising Problem
With new technologies come new risks. While immensely popular, there are health and safety concerns that need to be taken into account in this new age of dockless electric scooters. In fact, electric scooters have become so pervasive that one major Atlanta area hospital estimates receiving between 80 and 100 scooter-related injuries per month. Injuries include sprains, torn ligaments, broken bones, and even brain injuries. In fact, one study showed almost half of those injured suffered injuries to the head. It might be convenient to hop onto a scooter to hit a movie, go to class, or even explore the city, at home or on vacation, but it’s not worth it if it results in serious orthopedic injury. Cities across the U.S., including Atlanta, are pushing for more research and new regulations, but there are steps you can take to protect yourself when using an e-scooter.
Always Wear a Helmet
Just because riding an e-scooter is convenient doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take time to put on a helmet; and a helmet more substantial than a bike helmet is suggested. In-town scooter rentals can reach speeds of 15 to 20 mph, but factors including battery power, wattage, weight of the user, tires and terrain can impact speed, indicating your ride today may be different from one experienced tomorrow on a different scooter. Further, privately owned e-scooters can have speeds ranging from 30 to 50 mph! Wearing a helmet, and controlling your speed, are your best chance of avoiding a traumatic brain injury if you should fall or crash while operating an electronic scooter.
Test the Equipment Before Use
With electric scooters exposed to the elements for days on end and driven by a wide array of people, the quality of whichever e-scooter you’re about to ride cannot be guaranteed. Test the scooter before committing to a ride. In particular, test the brakes to see if they’re working and to insure you know how to safely use them. It’s the kind of thing you need to be certain of before entering traffic or busy pedestrian sidewalks or paths.
Be Alert at All Times
While fun and easy to operate, electric scooters can go surprisingly fast. Be aware of the speed at which you’re traveling and try to remember to cut it down to a speed closer to 10 mph or lower, so you always remain in complete control. Also, don’t use a smart phone while operating an e-scooter, and pay attention to the rules of the road as you would if you were riding a bike or driving a car.
Risks to Pedestrians
Electric scooters are particularly popular in neighborhoods where there is a lot of pedestrian traffic. If you’re walking in one of these areas, remain cognizant of approaching scooters. Avoid texting or listening to music while walking and be aware of your surroundings at all times. Many injuries occur when pedestrians aren’t paying attention and trip over scooters laying in the middle in the sidewalk, so you never know when you may be at risk.
If you’ve gotten into an accident on a scooter or with a scooter, don’t hesitate to contact the experts at OrthoAtlanta. Whether you’ve suffered an orthopedic injury to your hand, wrist, elbow, shoulder, foot, ankle, knee or hip while operating an electronic scooter, Atlanta’s orthopedic experts at OrthoAtlanta are here to help. Give them a call at 770-953-6929 today!