E-scooters have become extremely popular around Los Angeles, but they have also become a source of thousands of personal injuries throughout the city. According to a recent press release from the UCLA Newsroom, Los Angeles’s e-scooter injury rate has actually surpassed the national rate of motorcycle accidents. Indeed, a new study reports that 115 injuries occur for every one million e-scooter rides and that the rate of e-scooter use is continuing to grow. The study examined data from “a recent six-year period,” and determined that “the injury rate for riders of electric scooters in one section of Los Angeles was higher than the national rates for riders of motorcycles, bicycles, cars, and pedestrians.” In areas with high rates of pedestrian traffic, such as Santa Monica, Venice, Culver City, and Downtown Los Angeles, there are scooters everywhere. The scooters are owned by companies such as Lime and Uber.
What else should you know about the recently published study and the implications for e-scooter injury rates and claims in Los Angeles?
Millions of E-Scooter Riders and Usage Continues to Increase
The rates of e-scooter use and overall injuries in Los Angeles look at a previous six-year period. Given that the overall rates of e-scooter usage continue to rise, it is likely that injury rates in the city will also continue to increase. Currently, “there are millions of riders,” and that number is likely to grow in the years to come. Indeed, the authors of the study suggest that e-scooter ridership could account for “1 in 10 trips shorter than 5 miles” in the Los Angeles area in the approaching years. If that many people are using e-scooters, the likelihood of accidents and injuries will increase from its current rate.
Why are e-scooters so popular, and why is ridership likely to increase? According to Dr. Joann Elmore, the senior author of the recently published study and a professor of medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, rising e-scooter use and injury rates are likely due in part to how easy it is to become a rider. As Elmore told the UCLA Newsroom, “the ease of public access to on-demand shareable scooters and safety regulations that are still in their infancy suggests that e-scooter operators, cities, and health care providers will continue to see a significant number of injuries each year.”
Elmore also emphasized that “the finding that rates of injuries from e-scooters are similar to rates for motorcycle injuries is startling.”
Study Includes Years Before E-Scooters Were Widely Used
As the UCLA Newsroom report clarifies, the years of injury rates analyzed in the recent study include a few years before e-scooters had become extremely popular in the Los Angeles area. As such, the overall injury rates likely are significantly higher even in 2022 than the averages reported by the study. Indeed, Los Angeles did not see a “widespread introduction of shareable e-scooters” until 2018. Since then, e-scooter injury rates have risen each year.
Of those injured, it is important to recognize that more people than e-scooter riders were hurt. Indeed, the authors of the study found that rates of pedestrian injuries also rose because more pedestrians were struck by e-scooter riders or tripped and fell over e-scooters left on sidewalks and walkways. Injuries caused by e-scooters range from mild to severe, with the majority of accident victims requiring treatment for injuries to their heads or to their extremities.
Contact a Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorney
If you were injured in an e-scooter accident, you should seek advice from a Los Angeles personal injury lawyer at our firm. Contact El Dabe Ritter Trial Lawyers online or call our office at (213) 985-1120 for assistance.