One of the recent trends sweeping the nation is that of the electric scooter, AKA the e-scooter. These vehicles, compact and two-wheeled, are placed around busy areas of many major cities, including San Francisco and Washington, DC. Their purpose is to provide quick, last-minute transportation for those using public transit. Ideally, riders rent a scooter for $1 (plus 10-15 cents per minute) and zip through their last few blocks of travel in between their transit stop and final destination. However, are electric scooters safe? As with any new technology, a great deal of public debate has emerged surrounding the trend.
While this business model initially sounds convenient and cost-effective, electric scooter accidents have some seeing e-scooters as worrisome new tech. Reports of Bird scooter injuries have made consumers wary of potentiallly unreliable brakes and erratic operational interfaces. Public outcry against these vehicles has become so great that many suspect e-scooters will be banned if proper safety precautions and regulations are not put in place.
This list details several noteworthy and tragic accidents resulting from electric scooters only, which excludes transporters such as Segway. While most cases are centered in Southern California, because Santa Monica serves as the unofficial birthplace of the trend, these scooters and their resulting hazards are present across the country and world.
A Woman Collided With A Brick Wall After Being Thrown Off Her Scooter
Date: July 18, 2018
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Injuries: Concussion, laceration, and thumb sprain
A 26-year-old woman was riding a Bird scooter on the sidewalk of Beverly Boulevard. After seeing a seven-inch offset on the sidewalk in front of her, she applied the scooter's brakes. This proved ineffective, however, as the vehicle barely reduced its speed. She dropped from the scooter, and her face hit a nearby brick wall. She temporarily lost consciousness in the incident and later sought treatment for her sprains and concussion.
Boy Requires Lip Stitches Following A Run-In With A Lime Scooter
Date: July 3, 2018
Location: Santa Monica, CA
Injuries: Eight broken or loose teeth, and a lip laceration
A 7-year-old boy was riding his bike on Ocean Front Walk. Four people on e-scooters were riding nearby. When one rider, atop a Lime scooter, crossed into the oncoming lane, he bumped into the boy on the bike. After this incident, the child required extensive dental work and stitches on his lip.
George Gardikas Suffered Bone Fractures And Lung Problems Following A Scooter Incident
Date: June 11, 2018
Accident: San Diego, CA
Injuries: Six fractured ribs, an impacted clavicle and scapula, as well as a collapsed lung
George Gardikas unintentionally drove into the path of an oncoming car exiting Route 163 while driving an electric scooter. Gardikas wore no helmet and was later cited with a DUI.
Gardikas initially suffered from fractured bones, but his lung collapsed after 24 hours in the ICU. The victim’s sister spoke out about e-scooters' lack of safety following her brother’s episode, claiming, “Think twice before you get on them. Your sister, brother, loved one, mother, father, child - this could happen to them.”
A Woman Required Leg Surgery After Attempting To Help Another Scooter Rider
Date: June 9, 2018
Location: Santa Monica, CA
Injuries: Torn ACL and meniscus in her knee
On Main Street, a 30-year-old woman was riding a Bird scooter in a bike lane. Another Bird rider ahead of her tumbled from their vehicle. The woman tried to stop her own scooter to help the fallen driver. However, after trying to brake and stepping off her scooter with one foot, she dropped to the ground. This led to her having substantial leg surgery to correct her torn ACL and meniscus.