SAN ANTONIO – From busted lips and bruises to broken bones and head trauma, electric scooter injuries continue to climb.
The San Antonio Fire Department has responded to 173 scooter-related accidents since it began tracking medical calls for such incidents in late September.
Of those 173 incidents, 109 people were taken to the hospital. Thirteen were designated as trauma in the department data.
Recent injuries included a 9-year-old girl who was riding with a family member when they crashed, possibly fracturing the girl’s femur; a 33-year-old woman who fractured her arm when she tried to jump a curb; and others who crashed into a wall, a tree or a stationary car.
San Antonio is not alone dealing the explosion of the battery-powered scooters. Along with the convenience and fun factor they offer riders, there is also risk of injury and even death.
Nationwide, Consumer Reports said it has confirmed eight deaths linked to the scooters.
Consumer Reports also contacted hospitals, municipal agencies and universities in 47 cities where at least one of the major ride-sharing companies -- Bird or Lime -- operates. After examining the data, CR estimated 1,500 people across the country were injured in an e-scooter accident since late 2017.
“We talked to several doctors at trauma centers and they said they’ve been treating serious injuries related to scooters,” said CR’s Ryan Felton. “They’ve seen broken bones, even brain injuries related to e-scooter accidents.”
According to a recent CR national survey, more than half of riders never wear a helmet.
The two biggest e-scooter companies, Lime and Bird, say safety is paramount and that they are eager to work with cities to safely deploy scooters.
While some cities are considering banning the scooters, others have no safety requirements.
The City of San Antonio is taking action to significantly reduce the number of scooters out on the streets. Beginning June 30, scooter riders will not be permitted on sidewalks.