As this blog has reported before, the use of electric scooters in Alameda County and the rest of the Bay Area is showing no signs of slowing down. In fact, the trend is continuing to expand to other cities across the country. A recent study that appeared in a major medical journal, however, shows that safety issues with respect to these scooters continue as well. For example, 90 percent of those who got hurt because of an electric scooter were actually riding the vehicle, as opposed to being a pedestrian or other person in the vicinity. Of those riders, less than 5 percent were wearing a helmet at the time of the injury.
This is significant because 40 percent of the injuries reported involved a traumatic brain injury or other damage to the head or upper neck. The most serious injuries reported, in which the victim had to stay in intensive care, involved brain injuries.
The pattern of not using a helmet may not be entirely the fault of those riding these scooters. The vehicles are distributed in such a manner that a person can pick them up and ride them on the spur of the moment, and many people honestly do not think to bring a helmet with them when going out on the town for an evening. When safety equipment isn’t provided with the vehicle, it is unlikely to come from another source.
Moreover, the study also showed an apparent problem with the scooter companies’ ability to enforce their rule that only those over 18 should ride, as about 10 percent of patients seen for injuries were under the minimum age.