How Safe Are E-Scooters?

Electric scooters – also referred to as E-scooters – have been gaining in popularity across the country and here in Virginia. Unfortunately, although E-scooters offer a fun and inexpensive way to get around, they also pose a high risk of injuries for anyone who is involved in an e-scooter accident.

Electric scooters can reach speeds of up to 15 miles per hour. Victims can fall off the scooters, crash into a pedestrian, crash into another E-scooter rider, or trip over a carelessly discarded E-scooter. The following is a brief overview of E-scooter accidents. For more detailed information if you have been injured, contact Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp for legal assistance.

E-Scooter Accident Study

One study, conducted by the city of Austin, TX and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that although anyone can be an E-scooter accident victim, some people are more at risk than others:

  • Researchers identified 271 electric scooter-related injuries that occurred during the study’s duration.
  • During the three-month study, 192 victims went to the emergency room after an electric scooter accident. Two of the victims were pedestrians, and 190 victims were e-scooter riders.
  • Fifty-five percent of victims were male
  • Victims ranged in age from 9 to 79, but almost half of the victims – 48 percent – were 18 to 29 years of age.
  • Thirty-three percent of the injured victims were riding the e-scooters for the first time when they were injured, indicating that there may be a learning curve that new riders should be aware of in order to help minimize their risk of injury.

The study also identified the most common injuries suffered by e-scooter accident victims:

  • Head-related injury – 48 percent
  • Brain trauma – 15 percent of head injury victims had brain trauma
  • Shoulder, arms, wrists, or hand injuries – 70 percent
  • Legs, knees, ankles, or feet injuries – 55 percent
  • Abdomen and chest pain – 18 percent
  • Bone fractures – 35 percent

While any of these injuries can be serious, head and brain injuries are particularly dangerous. Brain injuries can involve concussions and internal bleeding. Wearing a helmet can significantly decrease the risk of a head injury in the event of an e-scooter accident, however, most electric scooter riders don’t wear them. In fact, only one percent of the victims in the Austin, TX study were wearing a helmet when they were injured.

Virginia Law Regarding E-Scooters

The popularity of E-scooters led the state of Virginia to pass a law regarding regulations on the vehicles:

  • A rider must be at least 14 years of age.
  • The scooter must have a maximum speed of 20 mph.
  • The scooter must not weigh more than 100 pounds.
  • E-scooter users are allowed to ride on sidewalks.
  • Local municipalities are allowed to create their own regulations or ban the E-scooter outright in order to meet their community’s needs.

Contact a Virginia Personal Injury Attorney

If you or a family member has been injured in an electric scooter accident, you may be entitled to financial compensation to cover your medical expenses, loss of income, pain and suffering, emotional anguish, scarring, permanent disability, and more. Contact Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp to speak with a Virginia personal injury attorney and find out what legal options you may have for your injuries.