Electric scooter usage is on the rise and becoming more popular. They are fun, cheap and better for the environment compared to other modes of transportation.
Bird and Lime, founded in 2017, are two similar companies that created electric scooters for city residents to use. The scooters are scattered around major cities, like Indianapolis, laying on sidewalks, ready for use.
However, as they grow in popularity, more injuries have been reported. It’s important to educate yourself about the risks of electric scooters and how to keep yourself safe while riding one.
How do the electric scooters work?
- Download the app for the scooter you are using.
- Put in your credit card information to begin your ride.
- Scan the QR code with your app and hit the throttle to go. You can reserve a scooter up to 30 minutes in advance.
- You must ride the scooters in bike lanes and whenever you pass traffic in the streets, you must follow all street signs and laws.
- The scooters are dockless, meaning they are charged by an outlet when they run out of battery. They can be set down anywhere in the city because they don’t have a required docking station.
- Anyone can take home the scooters and charge them overnight. Bird and Lime will pay you through their app for charging the scooters and placing them back on the sidewalks the next day.
What are common injuries from motorized scooters?
Where do you go if you injure yourself on an electric scooter?
If you get injured on a scooter and need immediate medical attention, visit an OrthoIndy Urgent Care.
OrthoIndy Urgent Care physician assistant, Julia Williams has seen numerous wrist injuries in the urgent care due to scooter accidents in which patients fall off the scooter and land on their outstretched hand.
“These injuries range from sprains to breaks,” said Julia. “I have also encountered many foot injuries; for example, I evaluated a patient who fractured her foot after twisting it off the scooter while wearing high heels. These patients tend to be present when pain and swelling do not improve within a few days after the accident.”
OrthoIndy trauma surgeon, Dr. Timothy Weber suggests if there is no deformity, wait 24 hours and see if it’s better, then seek the proper treatment necessary. “If you experience a head injury, severe laceration or deformity, please visit an emergency room immediately,” said Dr. Weber.
How can you be safe on a scooter?
Follow these electric scooter safety tips to help reduce your chance of injury while riding motorized scooters. If you are careless or don’t follow the proper safety protocol while riding the electric scooters, you can severely injure yourself.
- Always wear a helmet while riding the scooter. Most riders do not wear helmets which increases their chances of concussions and other injuries.
- Ride on the appropriate path. Electric scooters should be ridden in bike lanes. The scooters can travel up to 15 mph and should not be used on sidewalks where pedestrians are walking.
- Be aware of the terrain you are riding on and be on the lookout for holes in the road, cracks or raised edges because this can cause the scooter to flip. “I have seen injuries due to potholes or uneven surfaces which are easier to spot if you operate the scooters at a slower speed,” said Julia.
- Scooter riders should also be aware of vehicles. Since the scooters are meant to be used on the street, parked cars oftentimes do not see them zooming past their rearview mirrors while trying to back out of a parking space. This often results in a crash leaving the scooter rider severely injured.
- Do not attempt any tricks on the electric scooter because it can easily flip.
- Only one person should be on the scooter at a time.
- Do not step off the scooter while it’s moving as it could cause an injury.
In addition, “As a scooter rider, be aware of parked cars opening their side door,” said Dr. Weber. “It’s just another way a scooter rider can be severely injured.”
For more serious injuries or when an urgent care office is closed, OrthoIndy’s trauma team is located exclusively at Ascension St. Vincent Trauma Center.
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