Tech Tuesday: Injuries by electric scooters spike in East Lansing

Tech Tuesday

EAST LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – A new report shows a spike in injuries from electric scooters, electric bikes and hoverboards, and it’s an issue being seen by the East Lansing police department.

During the past four years, injuries from electric scooters, electric bikes, and hoverboards have spiked by 70%. That’s according to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission.

“There’s, of course, an influx of these scooters, so there are more people riding them, but then unique to East Lansing, you’re looking at a significant number vehicles that are traveling through at any given time and then of course pedestrian traffic, bicycle traffic, those types of things,” said East Lansing Deputy Chief of Police Steve Gonzalez.

This has accounted for nearly 200,000 trips to the emergency room and at least 71 deaths spanning from 2017 to 2020.

Fortunately, none of these deaths were reported in East Lansing but that doesn’t mean everything is just fine. “People have gotten some bumps and bruises, but no we have not seen any fatalities from these scooters or any of those collisions,” said Gonzalez.

The biggest amount of injuries come from electric scooters which first showed up in East Lansing around 2018.

More than 25,000 ER visits in the US were made due to e-scooters last year, the report said.

“We saw a big influx of electric scooters and they were primarily from a vendor and there have been several different vendors in towns since then,” said Gonzalez.

But East Lansing police are pleased with the steps these companies are taking to keep people safe while riding.

“Everything from suggestions to wearing a helmet to how to operate, where to operate, and kind of give people a crash course before they actually jump on these things and get going.”

He says this has been extremely helpful but ultimately: “Be respectful of other community members and work together to get to class or get to work or wherever you’re going, especially if you’re using one of these scooters.”

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