Electric Scooters in Canada and other countries, use is on the rise. Kids and young adults of all ages particularly enjoy using them to move around and stay active. Scooters, however, can be risky to ride in congested areas or at fast speeds.
According to pediatric emergency physicians, a spike in popularity is also causing an increase in emergency room visits for scooter-related injuries in Canada and around the world.
All throughout the world, including Ontario, e-scooters are becoming increasingly popular. Modern electric scooters now have strong batteries that give them exceptional speed and range thanks to technological advancements.
E-scooter laws have had a hard time keeping up, but more lawmakers are looking into how to include them in the transportation system. One of the main reasons for lawmaker push for including electric scooters into the transportation system is the increase and severity of injuries.
The majority of electric scooters can go up to 15 to 25 mph (24 to 40 kph). Enough to get from point A to point B in a timely manner. This is quicker than the typical commuter biker can go, if that makes anyone feel any differently. But they are sometimes considerably faster. The Wolf King GT Pro, which has a top speed of 62 mph (100 kph), is the fastest electric scooter currently on the market.
With such speeds, there is absolute no question whether these recreational devices or transportation devices can cause severe injuries or even death. When compared to drivers of other motor vehicles, users of the road who are more vulnerable include those who ride e-scooters, cyclists, and pedestrians. And according to study, falls rather than collisions with moving cars are the main reason for injuries among users of e-scooter.
According to a study of 105 persons injured while using e-scooters in Washington, D.C., falls caused by dangerous roadways or bumpy surfaces accounted for almost 67% of accidents. Only 10% of events were the result of motor vehicle crashes.
Similar results were observed in Copenhagen, Denmark, where injuries to e-scooter riders were nearly exclusively caused by falls.
In these investigations, head and face injuries were the most frequent injuries reported by e-scooter users who had falls. Less than 4% of riders claimed to have been using a helmet when they fell. Head-to-ground hits are a significant factor in predicting severe head injuries in e-scooter riders, just like they are for cyclists and pedestrians.
According to a recent study from Finland, you are more likely to suffer an injury when operating an e-scooter than you are while operating a motorbike, cycling, driving, or walking. In Tampere, Finland, a city of around 226,000 people, the accident and emergency department received 331 patients with e-scooter-related injuries between April 2019 and April 2021. Aleksi Reito, an orthopaedic surgeon and the study’s lead author, said that although comparable data is lacking, this rate is significantly higher than previously anticipated injury rates for other forms of transportation like walking, cycling, and motorcycling.
Some of the studies show that e-scooters are 400% more likely than bicycles to damage pedestrians, and 34% of e-scooter users risk others by riding on the sidewalk illegally, according to an Austrian research. According to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, e-scooter accidents caused a 600% rise in emergency room visits over the five years that ended in 2019. The most typical wounds that are treated include:
- Head injury (40%)
- Fractures (31.7%)
- Contusions, sprains and lacerations (27.7%)
Despite the potential risks and dangers, beside Toronto, other juristictions are continuing its pilot programs, and the laws and regulations include:
- Riders must be at least 16 years of age
- Anyone under the age of 18 must wear a helmet
- Maximum speed of 24 km/h
- E-scooter must have a horn or bell, lights on front & back, plus reflective material on sides
- No passengers or cargo allowed
- Must follow all Highway Traffic Act rules of the road that apply to bicycles