TULSA, Okla. - Electric scooters have taken over Tulsa in the six months since they’ve been introduced.
Doctors at Hillcrest Medical Center said they’ve seen a steady stream of patients with scooter-related injuries.
A recent CDC study in Austin, Texas, found 45% of scooter accidents involved head injuries, 15% of which were considered traumatic.
Less than 1% of riders were wearing a helmet, according to the study.
Last month in Tulsa, a 5-year-old boy was killed in a scooter-related accident. Police said he was riding with his mother, fell off and was hit by a car.
Since that crash, Tulsa leaders and the city’s legal team have worked to increase scooter regulations to help avoid another tragedy. Ideas include a minimum age requirement of 16 and clarifying where the scooters can be used.
Despite the incidents, city officials said the scooters have been a benefit to Tulsa with 70,000 riders so far.
Experts said that while the scooters can be dangerous, following simple rules set by the app and the rules of the road will help keep riders safe.
Bird sent us this response when we reached out:
“Cars injure 3 million people in the U.S. annually. To make our cities and communities more livable and safe, car usage must decline. As shared e-scooters become an essential transportation mode in this shift away from cars it is critically important that micromobility operators, cities, and organizations shine a data driven light on how to improve the safety of all road users. We plan to apply insights provided by research done by third parties to our global operations, marketing campaigns, public affairs and rider education initiatives while we also further raise the bar for vehicle safety.” - Paul Steely White, Director of Safety Policy & Advocacy at Bird
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