Researchers at University College Los Angeles (UCLA) are examining the public health impact of electric scooters.
The popularity of Electric Scooters
Electric scooters have gained increased prominence over the years. More and more people are using this medium as a possible alternative to other vehicles. Most importantly, they are environmentally friendly since they don’t omit any pollutant gases in the air. They are electrically charged devices with two or three wheels at times.
Los Angeles has been considered the birthplace of electric scooters. They are now seen to be used by various communities all over LA.
However, it wasn’t long before injuries started being reported to the emergency department. Just for 2017, 250 people were treated for sprains, fractures and head injuries. All occurring due to improper use of electric scooters.
What is interesting to note is that out 250 injuries, not all of them were riding the scooter. 20 were pedestrians who had nothing to do with the transport whatsoever. They were walking normally like other citizens being unfortunate to have been run over by the electric scooter.
The injured state that they had not seen the scooter on the road. Others report that the rider was riding at a really fast speed. More than what might be suitable as per the traffic laws.
The Safety Issue
We see all kinds of people riding electric scooters in different places. Some like driving it on the beach while others would prefer around universities and crowded neighbourhoods. Interestingly, most of them would actually be owned by young people and students.
The safety on the road is never really accounted for. In the first case scenario, it is recommended by the company that only one single person should ride the electric scooter. However, what is seen is that is never really the case. A scooter would often have the rider him/herself along with one other passenger. That can be considerably dangerous since it can disrupt the balance of the transport leading to consequences
Alongside that, an incident was reported of a woman who was carrying an infant baby with herself. Due to the baby’s disturbance, the mother lost her balance and smashed the scooter into an electric pole. Thankfully, the injury did not turn out to be that serious at the end of the day.
One other issue that can have severe consequences is the non-use of helmets by the riders. People will decide to use electric scooters without ensuring the necessary safety measures. Although much can be done about it, the least that can be done is wear a helmet. Since there are no traffic rules to regulate, riders often get away with it.
As a society, we need to think really deeply about how we are going to manage and regulate the use of these scooters. Many different cities are passing different types of laws. It is really important that the types of policies that need to be implemented are given considerable thought. That is necessary to the safety of the rider, passengers and citizens, in general, is ensured. Without a comprehensive plan, we will continue to see injuries resulting from the misuse of electric scooters.