Healthy Tahoe: Electric scooter safety tips
Electric scooters (e-scooters) may be a cost-effective and convenient way to navigate a new or familiar city, however, every summer there is a significant increase in emergency department patients presenting with injuries from e-scooters. Injuries happen most frequently to upper and lower limbs, as well as the head and the neck, all of which can have severe consequences.
While it may be fun to opt for this mode of transportation, it’s increasingly important to understand the risks and use caution when operating these two-wheeled vehicles. The Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends the following safety tips when riding e-scooters.
Safety First. It’s extremely important to wear a helmet to help avoid head injuries. Check local law regarding riding scooters in your area, as it may be required. Keep both hands on the handlebars at all times.
Ride Solo. Only one person should be on each scooter at a time. Additional riders increase risk and severity of collisions.
Stop. Look. Listen. Operators must stop at all crosswalks and intersections to avoid collisions. Riders should avoid distractions and slow down when approaching pedestrians, curbs, and other obstacles. Park in a place that would not trip others or interfere with motor vehicle traffic.
Slow and steady. CPSC recommends slowing down and leaning back when riding over bumps.
Keep it Sober. Riders should not ride when drinking alcohol or following alcohol consumption. Alcohol impairs your cognitive ability and decreases your ability to react to your movement and other vehicles.
Check it before you wreck it. Riders should check for damage before riding. Notice cracked tires, handlebar alignment, and check that the brakes are working properly. Understand the capabilities of the e-scooter you are about to ride.
Don’t let an e-scooter ride cut your summer short. Follow these safety tips to help prevent accidents and stay out of the emergency room.
Dr. Kim Evans is a board-certified surgeon and the Trauma Medical Director at Barton Health. Barton’s Level III Trauma Center provides medical services for trauma care and the immediate availability of emergency medicine physicians, surgeons, nurses, lab and x-ray technicians, and life support equipment 24-hours a day. Learn more at BartonHealth.org.
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