Since the City of Calgary’s e-scooter pilot program launched in July, the rechargeable electric scooters have exploded in popularity; data indicates that 80,000 trips were taken between July 13th and 29th, covering a distance of more than 250,000 kilometres. But an explosion in popularity has also meant a corresponding increase in injuries—one Calgary medical centre is even referring to the wave of e-scooter injuries as “Lime disease.”
Only a few weeks into the pilot program, the City of Calgary has been scene to 140 scooter accidents requiring medical attention—before the e-scooter rollout, that rate was between five and 10 a month. Experts are careful to point out that the reported injuries related to scooters include not only e-scooters, but also medical and conventional/manual scooters; however, the correlation between e-scooters appearing on Calgary’s streets and the increase in scooter-related injuries is difficult to ignore.
The injuries being reported range from bruises and scrapes, to fractures and broken bones. One injury in particular has occurred repeatedly; lacerations to the right leg and ankle due to riders catching themselves on exposed bolts jutting from e-scooter rear wheels.
Experts Continue to Monitor and Advise
Dr. Eddy Lang, an associate professor at the University of Calgary’s Cumming School of Medicine, is currently leading a study looking at the number of hospital visits connected to e-scooters. Dr. Lang’s current research has indicated that some e-scooter injuries may be related to other factors (such as improper and/or inebriated operation), but stresses that there is currently insufficient data available.
Feedback from the City of Calgary pilot program (including injury reports) could result in municipal regulations dictating how, where, and when e-scooters can be used within the city. The Calgary Police Service is closely monitoring e-scooter use in the city, and is prepared to ticket improper use; riding on the street may result in a $25 ticket, while interfering with a pedestrian may result in $150 ticket. For now, users of e-scooters should exercise good judgement and adhere to a few basic principles:
- wear a helmet;
- one user per e-scooter;
- only operate e-scooters on sidewalks—stay off of roads and streets; and
- watch out for both pedestrians and vehicles.
If you have suffered a personal injury, contact the personal injury lawyers at Pipella Law today to learn how they can help you recover from this traumatic experience.