Patients "Flying" Into the ER After Bird Scooter Accidents
E-scooters have hit the streets of cities across America hard ... and so have many of the individuals riding them
Of course there are upsides to the surge of Bird scooters to be found on sidewalks and street corners coast to coast - access to affordable, environmentally friendly transportation being one of them - but as their popularity soars, so do the number of scooter-related injuries. To be fair, the dangers riders face have little to do with the electric scooter itself. Typically the issue is a combination of carelessness, happenstance, and an acute lack of regulation. Many of these incidents can be contributed to cars, potholes, pedestrian, and myriad other physical hurdles & pitfalls even the most cautious rider could easily fall victim to.
Regardless the cause of the accident, emergency rooms nationwide are seeing a significant rise in patients reporting having sustained injuries of varying severity from e-scooter accidents, raising many concerns from medical professionals & city officials.
E-Scooter Accidents Are On The Rise ... But What About Regulation?
"I'm quite confident that we were seeing five to ten injuries from this a week, and I'm probably underestimating that,"Dr. Chris Colwell
Chief of Emergency Medicine at San Francisco General Hospital
Scary, isn't it? Many cities have avidly voiced their concerns in response to the number of reported e-scooter accidents, requesting the scooters be removed from public places until important safety issues are fully explored and properly addressed. Though one of the conditions of renting a Bird scooter dictates that one must wear a helmet to ride, few people heed this requirement, and proceed to jet about ... well, "as free as a bird". As it stands, regulations are severely lacking.
Emergency rooms are bearing the brunt of this. "I'm quite confident that we were seeing five to ten injuries from this a week, and I'm probably underestimating that," says Dr. Chris Colwell, chief of emergency medicine at San Francisco General Hospital.
Reporting in with anywhere from mild scrapes and bruises, to broken bones and devastating head trauma, the number of people showing up at hospitals and urgent care centers is steadily on the rise. Many emergency medicine residencies receiving adjunct medical education from Med-Challenger have reported that more and more of these injuries are being seen on a daily basis, which has boosted the demand for more thorough, comprehensive education resources on medical topics commonly related to scooter accidents.
"Fifteen miles an hour doesn't sound that fast until you bounce your head off something,"Dr. Jeff Harris
Methodist University Hospital Medical Director in Emergency Department
The Initiative to Increase Safety
As of August 2nd, 2018, Bird announced the formation of a Global Safety Advisory Board. Their goal is to create, advice, and implement global initiatives to promote and improve safety of those riding Birds and other e-scooters. In addition, Bird has vowed to fulfill its Save Our Sidewalks pledge, which aims to address rider safety and establish funds to create protected bike lanes, as well as create them in cities that do not currently offer them.
According to a spokesperson at Bird, they have currently distributed over 40,000 free helmets to riders. It's a start ...
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