The use of transportation apps has made it easier to get from point A to point B. Whether you’re traveling short or long distances, apps have made it easy to find the perfect method of transportation. Chicago is testing electric scooters (e-scooters) this summer to see how they will perform and add to the transportation experience. E-scooters are used by tourists and locals alike as a fun way to travel around the city.
The rise in traffic and some regulatory risks have made accidents and injuries more common among riders. There were increased ER visits for head and neck injuries and broken bones caused by e-scooter use.
Whether you’re using an e-scooter to get to work or taking a joyride on the lakefront, it is important to know the dangers that come with riding.
Research traffic laws. Every city has different traffic laws, so do your research beforehand to ensure that you are riding your e-scooter in the correct lane with the proper flow of traffic. Find out if e-scooters are allowed on the sidewalk, roads, or bike lanes. Some cities may issue citations for violations.
Wear protective gear. Wear a helmet when riding e-scooters. Many rider injuries can be prevented by wearing the proper safety gear. This includes elbow and knee pads and reflective gear for riding at night. An adult who falls off an e-scooter is just as likely to hit their head as a child.
Exercise caution on the street while navigating traffic. Use good judgement and only go at a speed that is appropriate for the setting. Traffic flow in cities has been meticulously constructed and accounts for pedestrian and bike traffic. The addition of e-scooters was not accounted for, meaning riders need to be especially careful. Use bike lanes when available. If not available, riders should stay on the right side of the road.
Look out for pedestrians. In addition to watching for vehicle traffic, you also need to pay attention to pedestrians walking in front of you. You do not want to crash into a pedestrian and cause further injury. Stay focused on your surroundings.
No electronics. Don’t use electronics while operating an e-scooter. Taking a phone call, texting and listening to music all cause distractions while riding. Operate the e-scooter with both hands and take your headphones off. Listening to music will block out car horns and pedestrians around you.
Following traffic laws and the regulations of e-scooters will help you travel safely. If you are injured from an e-scooter, specialists at Illinois Bone & Joint Institute can treat injuries including concussions, broken bones, and sprains.
Jack Pyde is a Marketing Specialist at Illinois Bone & Joint Institute.