By J. Kent Ellington, MD
Charlotte saw the addition of on-demand scooters to its landscape in 2018 with the arrival of companies like Lime and Bird.
While the services are a great addition for those seeking quick, convenient transportation, another result has been an uptick in the number of injuries seen from scooting around town.
OrthoCarolina foot and ankle specialist Dr. J. Kent Ellington says in the last two months he has performed four surgeries on patients involved in scooter accidents. These don’t even count the injuries he’s seen that haven’t required surgery or that other providers across the city have encountered.
“From a public health and safety stand perspective, while scooters do look fun they are also dangerous when not used properly,” Ellington says. “As opposed to taking a fall on a pedal bicycle, scooters could be going up to 15 miles per hour, really increasing the risk for injury.”
Of the number of scooter injuries, Dr. Ellington has seen over the last several months, two have been users who were hit by cars, but the majority are riders who have taken a spill. These injuries have resulted in fractures of the lower extremities like in the ankle and foot but also hand, wrist and collarbone resulting in anywhere from six to 12 months of extensive rehab and recovery.
To stay safe while riding, Dr. Ellington recommends all users wear helmets and follow safety recommendations. More information can be found from the City of Charlotte, or find a step-by-step riding guide from our friends at Charlotte Agenda.
Maybe not ready for scooters but still want to get outside? Use our ultimate guide to find your next adventure.