The 2020 edition of Chicago’s shared e-scooter pilot program is winding down, and it will officially end on December 12. While there is little question that the restrictions put in place to limit the spread of COVID-19 affected how many people utilized the shared scooters, city officials are optimistic about continuing to offer shared scooters in the future.
It is also important, however, to acknowledge that electric scooters pose a serious risk of injury, especially if they are not used properly and in accordance with local rules and ordinances. In fact, a recent study has found that e-scooter injuries have dramatically increased in recent years, including injuries to the head and neck.
A Look at the Numbers
Dr. Kathleen Yaremchuk is the chair of the Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery at the Henry Ford Health System in Detroit, MI. She recently led a team of researchers who looked at e-scooter injuries treated in emergency rooms across the country over the last three years.
Using information from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, the research team estimated that over 100,000 injuries related to e-scooters were reported between January 2009 and December 2019. The team also found that between 2009 and 2017, the rate of injuries remained similar from year to year, but as scooter rideshare programs began to appear in 2017, the injury rate increased by 350 percent. Head and neck injuries, in particular, increased by 4.5 times. The study also identified that riders under 17 were the age group most likely to be injured before 2017. After 2017, the 18-to-44-year-old demographic became the age group most likely to be injured.
According to the study, almost 28 percent of all injuries that required emergency room treatment were injuries to the head and neck, and 10 percent required a hospital stay. Fatal injuries accounted for just 0.1 percent of all injuries, as a total of 105 deaths were reported during the period examined by the researchers.
The study’s goal was to educate rideshare scooter users on the dangers of head and neck injuries and to encourage riders to take safety precautions. Dr. Samantha Tam, another specialist in the same department at Henry Ford and a co-author of the study said, “As a physician, I would recommend that people who use this mode of transportation wear a helmet and apply the same approach as when driving a car.”
Call a Chicago E-Scooter Injury Lawyer
While some e-scooter accidents are caused by obstacles on the ground, such as manhole covers and curbs, many others involve cars driven by distracted or negligent drivers. Defects in the scooters’ brakes and wheels have also led to many accidents. If you have been injured in a scooter accident caused by a negligent driver or a defective scooter, the experienced Chicago electric scooter injury attorneys at Livas Law Group, A Division of Kralovec, Jambois & Schwartz, are here to help. Call 312-804-6102 for a free consultation today.