The popularity of e-scooters means that more injuries associated with them are taking place, and officials are urging riders to follow the rules, especially with more people enjoying these alternative low-carbon ways of getting around.
As this newer form of transportation is sharing the road with other vehicles, Interior Health (IH) wants to ensure injury prevention remains a top priority. Evidence from 2021 suggests an increase in the number of scooter-related injuries as compared to the previous five years.
The most affected age group was individuals between the ages of 20 and 40, and the most common types of injuries were fractures of the upper extremities and open wounds to the head and neck. More than 90 per cent of individuals injured were not wearing a helmet at the time of injury.
“Road safety is everyone’s business,” says Dr. Silvina Mema, IH medical health officer. “It’s important that everyone plays their part to prevent transportation-related injuries and associated impacts experienced in our communities. There are significant health care costs, as well as personal impacts, for people who experience serious injuries.”
Anyone who uses a privately owned or shared e-scooter is reminded to keep safety top of mind and follow the e-scooter provider specifications, such as:
· Wear a helmet
· Don’t carry passengers (e.g., doubling)
· Never ride under the influence of drugs or alcohol
· If you are a less experienced rider, start slow and in areas of low traffic
· Ride at a safe speed and in designated areas such as protected lanes and quiet streets
· Remember you must be 16 or older to ride an e-scooter in B.C. (some rental operators currently require you to be 18 or older)
· Know the rules: familiarize yourself with where you can and cannot ride
· Ensure your e-scooter is equipped with a braking system and added safety features, including a bell, lights, and reflectors
These tips also apply to other types of active travel, such as cycling, skateboarding, non-electric scooters, and roller skating/blading.
IH supports alternative modes of transportation and will continue to partner with communities to monitor health-related impacts.