E-scooters and other micro-mobility products have boomed in popularity in recent years, especially among young people looking for a fun and cheap way to travel short distances.
Unfortunately, thousands of these quick rides have ended with serious accidents, including dozens of tragic deaths.
At least 41 people died and 133,000 others were sent to the emergency room for injuries after riding micro-mobility devices between 2017 and 2019, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).
Right now, the most popular products in the U.S. are Lime, Bird and Lyft e-scooters and e-bikes, but hoverboards are also linked to a large number of injuries.
Most of these injuries and deaths were caused by falls — typically due to a loss of control, car accidents, or hitting potholes or uneven pavement, according to the CPSC.
Safety officials recommend wearing a helmet. But in 2019, the e-scooter company Bird successfully prevented a California law that would have required helmets for adults.
CPSC also recommends checking e-scooters for damage and always testing the brakes before riding. Also, make sure that the handlebars, throttle, bell, lights, tires, cables, and frame are in good condition.
“Remember, many accidents can be prevented by simply slowing down,” said Acting CPSC Chairman Robert Adler. “Always wear a helmet, be aware of your surroundings and be prepared to stop.”