Electronic scooters – also known as E-scooters – are a growingly popular conveyance for Floridians, particularly those who fun under the sun while at the beach. Grabbling a scooter is as easy as unlocking an app and making payment following the ride.
E-scooters have been available in the Sunshine State for several years. Companies that offer the vehicles operate in major metropolitan areas that include Fort Lauderdale and Miami. One company reported that demand is strong, with scooter trips approaching the one million mark.
However, with that growth comes an increase in accidents.
An alarming trend
Doctors in the state are seeing an uptick of emergency room patients suffering severe injuries in scooter accidents. Broward Health Medical Center reports that more than 100 accident victims at their facility, with a third diagnosed with head trauma that includes concussions, fractured skulls, and brain hemorrhages.
Nationwide, e-scooter crashes are doubling the number of head injuries that occur in bicycle accidents. Nearly 40,000 e-scooter operators found themselves in the emergency room in 2018. One-third suffered head injuries.
The same study revealed that 96 to 98 percent of people in scooter accidents were not wearing helmets, a dangerous trend that state authorities seem to be ignoring. While Florida requires that scooter operators have a valid driver’s license and be 16 years or older, no helmet mandate exists unless the vehicle exceeds 30 miles per hour.
Even more alarming is that the rental companies making significant money off scooter users aren’t making helmets available for rent. Regardless of the speed they travel and the ease of access, convenience should not come at such a cost.