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3 most common injuries from electric scooters

    The three most common e-scooter injuries are closed head injuries, concussions, and lacerations. Most riders do not wear helmets or othe...


 The three most common e-scooter injuries are closed head injuries, concussions, and lacerations. Most riders do not wear helmets or other protective gear and operate e-scooters at speeds exceeding ten miles per hour. If an accident occurs, unprotected riders are likely to suffer severe head and body injuries. Further, the e-scooter platforms are unstable, which makes them highly susceptible to instability due to road imperfections or obstacles. Finally, e-scooter riders use these devices on both sidewalks and streets, increasing the likelihood of a collision with a car or pedestrian.

The Rise of the E-Scooter

E-scooters seemed to appear overnight. From 2016-2017, American cities were inundated with dockless bikes of striking, bright colors. Dockless bike companies dumped hundreds of bicycles in many large American cities. Then, just as suddenly, many of these companies picked up the bicycles and replaced them with scooters of the same color.

Just like dockless bikes, e-scooters could be rented through an app and picked up from wherever they are found. However, like bikes, these e-scooters quickly developed a reputation for increasing the risk of serious bodily injuries and death.

The Law and E-Scooters

E-scooters are regulated at the state and local level. E-scooters are associated with high rates of pedestrian accidents. In response, many cities prohibit the use of e-scooters on sidewalks and in certain areas with high pedestrian traffic. The City of Virginia Beach bans the use of e-scooters in the boardwalk area. Moreover, states also prohibit the use of e-scooters on freeways, turnpikes, and other “car only” throughways.

In general, e-scooter users cannot:

- Ride on a scooter without a helmet if the rider is under 18,
- Ride with passengers (one scooter, one rider),
- Operate a scooter while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or
- Operate a scooter without a valid driver’s license.


However, despite the rules, e-scooters still cause a high rate of fatalities and serious injuries. The problem is so profound that some cities, such as Chicago and Atlanta, are banning the use of scooters after dark. Some cities, including Breckenridge, Colorado, Nashville, and Chattanooga, Tennessee are also adopting outright bans.

E-Scooter Injuries and Accidents

E-scooters are responsible for a proliferation of serious personal injuries across the United States. A 2019 study conducted in Southern California found that 40.2% of e-scooter riders suffered a head injury. It is estimated that a mere 4.4% of riders wear helmets. E-scooters operate at high speeds, sometimes in excess of 30 mph, which significantly increases the likelihood of serious injury. The issue is further complicated because scooters that are compelled to operate in the street are more likely to be hit by a car.

The three most common e-scooter injuries are: (1) closed head injuries, (2) concussions, and (3) lacerations.


A 2019 study by the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission found that there were approximately 100,000 injuries related to e-scooters from January 2009 to December 2019. Of those injured, about 24.9% were lacerated in the accident (serious cuts). The lacerations were often on the elbows, hands, head, and face.

Closed Head Injuries and Concussions

E-scooter riders frequently break their skull and nose (27% of the time) and also experience neck and facial fractures. The same study found that 32.5% of injuries were to the head and brain, and a further 11.1% suffered from concussions. These injuries are common because riders are often flung forward past the scooter onto the head and face.

These injuries are also often severe. Some riders require reconstructive surgery for injuries to the face. Head injuries can result in brain swelling and bleeding, which can be fatal and result in long-term consequences, such as balance, speech, and cognitive impairment.