E-scooters have become a popular way for people to get around, particularly in urban areas and on college campuses. Many cities have entered into deals with rental companies like Lime and Bird to get a portion of rental fees to provide for the cost of policing the scooters. Some jurisdictions have even established that law enforcement officers ride the scooters while patrolling.
However, with their popularity, the number of injuries that people suffer while on a scooter has risen. Both Bird and Lime recommend wearing a helmet while riding a scooter but do not provide those helmets.
The Duke Chronicle reports that despite a growing number of injuries, e-scooters remain a popular way to get around campus.
Since August, about 10 students have been involved with accidents while on a scooter. Some of these have resulted in serious head injuries, broken teeth, and sprained knees. Some of the students have hit cars while riding the scooters.
The Duke Hospital Emergency Room has also seen an uptick in injuries. Most of the injuries have been minor, such as bruises, lacerations, and bumps.
According to a recent study, emergency room visits due to scooter injuries tripled between 2008 and 2017. Of those that recorded whether a helmet was worn at the time of the injury, about 2/3 reported they were not wearing a helmet.
Duke has required the two scooter vendors, Bird and Spin, to implement systems that prevented the scooters from being ridden in high traffic areas. This seems to have worked relatively well to prevent some accidents and injuries. However, scooters are often being left in the wrong places.
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