In a recent study, researchers are concerned about the multiplication of accidents involving users of electric scooters.
Since their appearance in the cityscape in 2018, electric scooters have become a true form of individual transport, dethroning even the bicycle in the heart of the fans of soft mobility.
But unlike bike users, who are subject to strict compliance with the Highway Code, the legislation surrounding the use of electric scooters is still too vague. The users of this electric machine are not for example not required to wear a helmet, roll indifferently on the floor and sidewalks, sometimes at a speed of up to 30 km / h. Result: accidents multiply and injuries too.
Fractures and head injuries
A new study published in JAMA Open Network is even there to attest. In the space of a year, its authors identified nearly 250 accidents involving the use of electric scooters from September 2017 to August 2018 in two university hospitals in the Santa Monica and Los Angeles area of California.
The most common injuries identified by the researchers are fractures (31.7%), soft tissue injuries (27.7%) and especially head injuries, which account for 40.2% of accidents.
Of the patients, 10.8% were under the age of 18 and only 4.4% of the electric scooter users wore a helmet! Worse, the study authors noted that 5% of the wounded were intoxicated while driving their electric vehicle. "Our study shows that the rate of adherence to road safety legislation is very low, as well as for those governing the age," note the authors.
8% of the injured are pedestrians
For them, this multiplication of accidents is explained not only by the non-wearing of the helmet by the users of electric scooters, but also by the difficulty of sharing the urban space: by rolling on the road, they run the risk of being overthrown, but using sidewalks, pedestrians become vulnerable. The latter represent 8% of the wounded in scooter accidents. One figure, however, to qualify: if half was a victim of a collision, the other was injured by moving the scooter on the public road or stumbling over it.
"At the launch of the first Segway in 2001, their use was limited to tourist areas.In comparison, today, users of electric scooters are several thousand per city, to share the streets with cars and pedestrians", analyze the authors of the study.
This is not limited to cities in California alone. In Paris, where the company Lime has set up shared scooters since last year, the problem surrounding the use of these motorized devices is the same. For the moment, users of the e-scooter can still ride on the sidewalks, provided not to exceed 6 km / h ... But perhaps more for a very long time. Presented at the end of November, the bill of orientation of mobilities provides indeed that scooters, gyropods and rollers are limited to a strict use on the cycle tracks under penalty of a fine of up to 135 euros.