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Consumer Reports: E-scooter safety investigation

Posted at 6:20 AM, Jun 19, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-19 09:33:38-04

TUCSON, Ariz. - Why walk when you can ride? Although battery powered e-scooters can travel up to a speedy 15 miles per hour, what’s really accelerating is their popularity. But with all that convenience comes a serious question: Are e-scooters safe?

Consumer Reports contacted hospitals, municipal agencies, and universities in 47 cities where at least one of the major ride sharing companies, Bird or Lime, operates. After a careful examination of the data, CR estimates 1,500 people across the country were injured in an e-scooter-related accident since late 2017.

“We talked to several doctors at trauma centers and they said they’ve been treating serious injuries related to e-scooters," says Consumer Reports Investigative Reporter, Ryan Felton. "They’ve seen broken bones, even brain injuries related to e-scooter accidents.”

According to a recent Consumer Reports national survey, more than half of electric scooter riders in the country never wear a helmet. The two biggest e-scooter companies, Lime and Bird, say safety is paramount and that they’re eager to work with cities to safely deploy scooters. But currently, many cities don’t have safety requirements including helmet laws for these ride-sharing programs, nor where, exactly, to ride your scooter, which is why you have to be vigilant about your safety now.