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Indy surgeon warns of e-scooter safety risks

E-Scooters in Indianapolis
Posted at 7:37 PM, Sep 09, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-09 19:37:25-04

INDIANAPOLIS — Thousands of electric scooters are out around the City of Indianapolis every month. They have been available for several years now and as they grow in popularity, local health leaders are warning about the safety of it all.

Surgeon Dr. Ashley Meagher said as the popularity grows with scooters, so do the number of severe injuries in her trauma bay.

“We’re still investigating the reason for that, but I suspect it has something to do with people increasingly using the scooters, increasingly using them at higher speeds and then also the involvement of alcohol,” Meagher said.

IU Health Methodist Hospital data shows last year, scooter injuries were four times higher than the previous six-year average. This year is expected to surpass all of it.

“In the last month we’ve had two high profile deaths that resulted in scooters,” Meagher said.

Earlier this week, a man died after he was struck while riding a Lime scooter.

The general surgeon’s team is seeing more traumatic brain injuries, rib fractures and internal bleeding involving the liver when it comes to e-scooter accidents.

“For the people that we have tested for alcohol when they’ve arrived — 67% of patients are positive for alcohol,” Meagher said.

To keep safe, Meagher asks riders to wear safety gear, wear bright clothing if riding at night and avoid alcohol. Some of those reminders are printed right on the scooters.

“This is marketed as something that’s safe and an alternative to driving, but it’s not. It’s not completely safe if you don’t take the right precautions,” Meagher said.

Lime was the only company to respond to WRTV’s request for comment before deadline. A spokesperson released this statement:

"Safety comes first and always at Lime. It guides how we design and upgrade our vehicles, develop rider education and training, and work with cities to improve how streets are built to prioritize people over cars. While this approach has yielded a strong safety track record, with 99.99% of trips ending without a reported incident last year, we strive to ensure every ride ends safely and without incident."