Should Children Be Allowed to Ride Electric Scooters?

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Electric scooter use has risen dramatically in Chicago over the last few years. The popularity of  electric scooters is spurred by the introduction of shared services such as Divvy, Lime and Spin.  These scooters are left on the on sidewalks and streets and can be unlocked with a smartphone app. When a user is done with their trip they can just leave the scooter at their destination.  With this surge of e-scooter usage has been accompanied by a surge in e-scooter related emergency room visits.

It is easy to see how susceptible to injury scooter riders are.  E-scooters travel up to 20 MPH and some travel even faster.  Scooter injury lawyer, Peter Zneimer of Zneimer & Zneimer, P.C., was recently driving down Peterson Ave. in Chicago going about 25 MPH when he was passed by an e-scooter going at least 30 MPH.    On top of that, e-scooters have small wheels that require smooth surfaces to ride on.  As any resident of Chicago can attest, potholes and rough surfaces are everywhere on Chicago streets. When the small wheels of a e-scooter hit a pothole or rough surface, the rider is likely to be thrown hard on to the pavement. If a person falls off an e-scooter on to the pavement at these speeds it is almost guaranteed to be injuries. The most common injuries are cuts, scraps, bruises, fractures and head injuries.

There were approximately  42,200 emergency room visits in the United States in 2021 according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. This represents an increase of 66% over 2020. The increase in injures for children under 16.  Because of the high risk of injury, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children under 16 should not be allowed to ride electric scooters.

Here are some safety tips for children under 16 years of age,  teenagers aged 16 and older and adults to help prevent injuries while using electric scooters:

  • Wear Protective Gear: Always wear a helmet, knee pads, elbow pads, and wrist guards to protect yourself in case of a fall.
  • Check the Scooter Before Use: Inspect the scooter for any damage or loose parts before riding. Ensure the brakes are functioning properly.
  • Follow Traffic Rules: Obey all traffic signals and signs. Ride in designated bike lanes where available, and never ride on sidewalks.
  • Be Visible: Wear bright or reflective clothing, especially when riding at dawn, dusk, or night. Make sure the scooter has working front and rear lights.
  • Use Both Hands: Always keep both hands on the handlebars to maintain control.
  • Avoid Distractions: Do not use headphones or mobile devices while riding. Stay focused on the road and your surroundings.
  • Ride Solo: Only one person should ride the scooter at a time. Additional passengers can affect balance and control.
  • Stay Alert: Be aware of your surroundings, including pedestrians, other vehicles, and potential hazards like potholes or debris.
  • Ride at a Safe Speed: Do not exceed the speed limit for scooters and adjust your speed according to the riding conditions.
  • Be Cautious in Wet Conditions: Avoid riding in the rain or on wet surfaces, as they can be slippery and reduce braking effectiveness.
  • Practice in Safe Areas: If you are new to riding a scooter, practice in a safe, open area away from traffic until you are comfortable.
  • Follow Age and Weight Limits: Make sure you are within the age and weight limits recommended by the scooter manufacturer.
  • Park Responsibly: When finished, park the scooter in a safe location where it will not obstruct pedestrians or other vehicles.

If you are injured while riding an electric scooter you can call the injury lawyers of  Zneimer & Zneimer P.C. for a free consultation. We will take the steps necessary to protect your rights and we will work to get the maximum money to compensate you for your injuries.

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