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.
Date: July 12, 2019
Location: London, England
Emily Hartridge, a famed YouTuber, passed on July 12, 2019, in a crash between an electric scooter and a truck in London. She was pronounced no longer living on the scene, according to the London Metropolitan Police.
According to The Guardian, the fatal collision was Britain's first involving an electric scooter.
Date: March 20, 2016
Location: Singapore, between East Coast Park and Marina Bay Sands
Injuries: Broken skull
On March 19, 2016, Sam Koh Guo Cong, age 22, a scooter enthusiast and employee at an e-scooter shop in Singapore, dropped from his vehicle on his way from East Coast Park to Marina Bay Sands. His skull was impacted and there was substantial bleeding in his brain.
He passed the following day, March 20, without regaining consciousness. State coroner Marvin Bay attributed Mr. Koh’s tragic demise to his lack of proper headgear, a common oversight among e-scooter riders.
Date: December 10, 2015
Location: London, England
Injuries: Lacerations and bodily trauma
Fifteen-year-old Nawaf Al-Tuwayan was riding his electric scooter on his way to buy milk for his family when he plunged from his scooter and ended up in the path of a coming bus. After a tragic impact with the teen, the bus dragged his body for roughly 600 feet (183 meters) before the bus driver realized what had occurred. Many witnesses chased after the bus to stop it, but by the time the bus slowed, Al-Tuwayan had already passed.
Date: August 12, 2018
Location: San Diego, CA
Injuries: Multiple bones fractured
When a 32-year-old man was riding a Bird scooter, he applied the brakes when he saw an upcoming bump in the road. Rather than stopping the vehicle, the brakes simply slowed the scooter's momentum, causing the rider to fall. The scooter ran over his right ankle, and the rider had two plates and 21 screws inserted into his impacted leg.