ride safer on electric scooters

How to ride safer on electric scooters

General,

If you live in a fairly large city—in Brazil or in the U.S.—you have probably seen people quickly moving around on electric scooters. It’s a trend that seemingly exploded overnight, and many people, and city governments, are not sure what to do about it.

But it’s a trend that is not likely to die anytime soon. It has great potential to help relieve city traffic congestion, and besides, many people find it’s just a fun way to get around. But just like we do with cars,
motorcycles, and bicycles, at some point we have to discuss safety. This is important for the operator of the scooter as well as for cars and pedestrians that are sharing the same space.

Are scooters safe?

“Electric scooters sending lots of riders to emergency rooms with injuries”was a recent headline in USA Today. The article quoted a study published by medical researchers at the University of California Medical Center (Los Angeles) that showed there were more people treated for scooter accidents than either bike accidents or accidents while walking.

During a one-year period, their emergency room treated 118 people from bicycle accidents, 181 walking-related injuries, and 249 scooter-related injuries. Thirty percent of the scooter injuries were bone fractures, and 40% had head injuries. Many riders reported that their scooters malfunctioned, and that they were thrown off the scooter while going at high speed.

The scooter companies responded by claiming that there were more scooter injuries than bike injuries because scooters were more popular than bikes in that part of Los Angeles. They also claimed that less than 1% of scooter rides end up in accidents, and that if these people were not on scooters, they would be on bikes, or motorbikes, or cars, and also prone to accidents.

The researchers caution that scooter riders are not really aware of the risks of riding unprotected at
relatively high-speed, and that if they fall—without protective gear—they are likely to be injured. If they ride on the sidewalk, they put pedestrians at risk as well. Older people, people with pets or baby strollers present additional hazards.

To lower risk of scooter accidents

  • Know how the controls on the scooter work before you ride

  • Don’t’ ride if the scooter seems defective, for example, the brakes

  • One rider at a time. The risk of accidents doubles with more than one rider.

  • Avoid riding in the rain or on wet pavement

  • Stay on bike paths if you can

  • If you have to ride at night, use lights and wear light-colored clothes so you can be seen

  • Ride on smooth pavement and be aware of drainage holes

  • If you have to ride on the street, be especially alert at intersections, and when you pass parked cars; know that they can without warning open a door, throwing you off the scooter

  • Don’t ride distracted with your cellphone, headphones, or after drinking

  • The safest way to protect yourself is to use a good quality, well-fitted helmet (along with rollerblade-like protective gear, such as elbow pads).

To find a doctor, of any specialty, anywhere in Brazil, check out our website: www.Procuramed.com.

See also in ProcuraMed:

What happens when you take a vacation from exercise?

Why running can be so good for women

Esta postagem também está disponível em: Portuguese (Brazil)

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