Motorized scooters that are available for rental to Atlanta residents from companies such as Bird and Lime, who began their enterprise on the west coast. Now, even companies like Uber and Lyft are getting into the scooter rental business. For a small initial fee and then a set per-minute charge, anyone can rent these motorized scooters and zip around Atlanta. For some, it is fun. For others, it is a quicker way to get around downtown than taking MARTA or walking and cheaper than maintaining a car. However, with the arrival of these scooters in the Atlanta area, metro doctors say the number of injuries is climbing, as WABE reports.
Just this week, Uber and Lyft launched e-scooter rentals in the Atlanta area. However, the scooters have been appearing on Atlanta sidewalks since May.
With the arrival of the scooters, Dr. Sulieman Wazeerud-Din, an ER doctor at Atlanta Medical Center, says there has been an increase in scooter-related injuries. While most of them are cuts and abrasions from simple falls, more serious injuries, like broken bones, have occurred. They have even seen injuries such as subdural bleeds, which is bleeding in the brain, facial fractures, and even a laceration to the spleen.
However, Atlanta Medical Center does not track scooter accidents. Grady officials indicate that the Atlanta hospital sees about 25 scooter injuries a month. For Dr. Wazeerud-Din, there is one commonality between all of the injuries beyond them occurring on e-scooters: None of the riders were wearing helmets.
The scooter companies tell those renting their scooters to wear helmets, but there is no penalty for not doing so. Currently, there is no legislation requiring people riding a scooter to wear a helmet, either. While the Atlanta City Council is holding a vote on scooter regulations this month, there currently isn’t a plan to track scooter injuries.
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