The Phoenix area has seen a rise in electric scooter use with the arrival of providers like Bird, Lime and Razor. They’re especially popular with university students in Tempe. The increase in popularity comes with an increase in crashes and personal injury, prompting the Tempe City Council to enact new regulations for their use. Even with the new regulations, riders must still do their part to ride them responsibly.
The rise in scooter accidents
Electric scooters were introduced to Tempe at the end of May last year. Over the next 6 months, the fire department responded to 119 scooter-related incidents that resulted in injuries. They started to track the accidents more closely in September after a spike in usage and the number of injuries. Between September and December, they responded to these accidents an average of 29 times a month. That’s almost one a day in Tempe alone.
Tempe St. Luke’s Hospital is having a similar experience with scooter accidents. The emergency room and intensive care unit director, Janet Backers, has said that the hospital sees about one or two scooter-related injuries per day. Most of these are scrapes or joint injuries, but more severe injuries are not uncommon.
In Austin, TX, the star shortstop for the University of Texas baseball team suffered a season-ending injury riding a electric scooter. He tore his Achilles tendon after hitting a pothole, and required surgery. In Nashville, TN, Dr. Oscar Guillamondegui of the Vanderbilt University Medical Center said that “one to two major traumatic brain injuries a month are admitted to the trauma center.” He attributes the trend to a lack of helmets, which a study from officials in Portland, Oregon supported. It found that 90 percent of the 176 people admitted to the emergency room over a 5-month period weren’t wearing helmets.
A Push for Safety
Even with the rise in accidents and injuries, the scooters remain popular. Seventy percent of people surveyed across 11 major cities had a positive view of them. Still, community concerns were what prompted the Tempe City Council to enact its new regulations. Scottsdale approved similar regulations in November, while Mesa and Peoria are looking into doing the same. ASU decided to ban them and impounded any found on campus. More safety regulations could be enacted in the future, such as requiring helmets and limiting their speed.
These kinds of regulations can help reduce injuries to both riders and those around them. If you were injured in an electric scooter accident or by someone riding an electric scooter, put the power of an experienced, knowledgeable Arizona personal injury lawyer to work for you. Contact us today.