Home > Blog > Scooters & Safety In Milwaukee

Scooters & Safety In Milwaukee

Posted by:

Electric scooters are seemingly everywhere in Milwaukee and are becoming more popular in major cities across the United States.  The law defines an electric scooter as a device that weighs less than 100 pounds and does not exceed more than 20 miles per hour when powered by an electric motor.

You can pick them up spontaneously on the street and drop them off wherever you like. They’re battery-powered with no emissions and are a cost-effective means of transportation.   However, his new transportation fad comes with a potential health and financial risk, as more people are getting injured after going for a ride.

A study by Rutgers University, showed that the number of face and head injuries from riding electric scooters has tripled over the past decade resulting in approximately 32,000 emergency department visits nationwide.  As you would expect, the ever increasing access to scooters has led to a growing number of injuries year over year.

Scooters can create unsafe conditions on not only roads where they are presently banned, but on sidewalks where pedestrians are at major risk for collisions and serious facial and extremity injuries.  Most of those injured were between the ages of 19 and 65, with almost one-third of them being children between 6 and 12 years old.

The most frequent injuries from scooters were closed head injuries, concussions, and lacerations.  The most commonly broken bones were the skull and nose, each at 27 percent of all cases. This was followed by neck and facial fractures.  Although many of these injuries may have been prevented using helmets, an overwhelming majority of people completing the study stated they weren’t wearing one.

Some populations are especially vulnerable to injury, such as children and the elderly. With the appeal of the scooters looking like a toy, many children not only pose a risk to themselves but to other pedestrians walking on the sidewalk. Careening down the sidewalk at 20 miles per hour means other pedestrians may have to duck for cover.

The elderly, especially those who are on blood thinners, can pose severe traumatic injury risks to themselves if they take a spin on a scooter. If they crash, especially without a helmet, they may experience life-threatening internal bleeding in their head and body.

Currently, there’s no national legislation about wearing a helmet while on a scooter, and each state and region have different laws. In Washington D.C., these scooters are defined as “personal mobility devices,” and they’re not subjected to the helmet or rigorous inspection laws. In California, anyone under the age of 18 must wear protective headgear while riding a scooter.

Whether using these convenient scooters for a ride down the street, for fun and leisure, or to get to and from work quickly, there’s a significant risk with their use. By maintaining traffic laws, driving at low speeds, and most importantly, wearing a helmet, life-threatening head injuries can be prevented.

Milwaukee has its own set of guidelines for electric scooters;

  • Electric scooters are not allowed to be ridden on sidewalks.  Electric scooters are not to be operated on any public sidewalk, pedestrian path in the public parks, or on public school grounds.  

  • Electric scooter riders are instructed to follow all rules of the road.  Generally, electric scooters follow many of the same traffic laws as bicycles on the road.

  • When available, electric scooters may use the bicycle lane and any paths designated for use by bicycles.

  • Riders are encouraged to use helmets while riding an electric scooter.  The maximum speed limit for electric scooters is 15 mph.  

  • Drivers of motor vehicles may overtake electric scooters so long as vehicle drivers exercise due care.  Vehicles must allow a safe distance, not less than 3 feet clearance, when passing the electric scooter.  

  • When parking electric scooters, the general goal is to keep streets and pedestrian walkways unobstructed.  The electric scooter may be parked on the sidewalk or similar areas designated for the parking of bicycles.  

 

If you or a loved one have been injured in a scooter accident, contact our offices for a free consultation.  At LDM, we have over 40 years of working with our clients to ensure they recieve the justice and compensation they deserve!