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Consumer Reports Weigh in on E-Scooter Safety
Since e-scooters first descended on cities across America, people have been divided. Are these dockless vehicles a revolutionary step in public transportation, or are they a menace to society? Both fans and opponents of e-scooters have strong opinions. Many cities have taken an active stance against e-scooters, including Marietta. In February 2019, the Marietta City Council unanimously voted to ban e-scooters entirely.
For many people, the problem with e-scooters boils down to a question of safety. Consumer Reports examined data from 47 cities and found that at least 1500 people have been injured in an e-scooter accident since 2017. Doctors who participated in the study claimed to often see “serious” injuries after e-scooter accidents, from broken bones to brain injuries. It’s worth noting that Bird, one of the biggest e-scooter companies, claims it had 10 million scooter rides in its first year of business.
A Growing Problem
This still begs the question: Are e-scooters safe? That depends on what you’re comparing the e-scooters to. The National Safety Council reported that around 40,000 people died due to a car crash in 2018 alone, Meanwhile, there have only been three e-scooter deaths as of January 2019. However, medical records from UCLA hospitals in Los Angeles and Santa Monica noted there were 249 emergency room visits between Sep. 1, 2017 and Aug. 31, 2018. In that same timeframe, there were 195 visits for bicycle injuries and 181 pedestrian injuries. The data suggests that e-scooters are more dangerous than similar modes of transportation.
The trouble with e-scooters often comes down to a lack of responsibility from the rider. Only 10% of e-scooter accidents involve a collision with a car. Most accidents are due to riders who fall or crash while riding on the sidewalks. This poses another problem, as e-scooters are only meant to be ridden on the street. Additionally, despite the max speed of 15 mph, only 48% of e-scooter riders wear a helmet while riding.
If you enjoy riding e-scooters, make your safety a priority and use caution. And if you live in Marietta, don’t count on seeing these vehicles zooming around anytime soon.