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Electric Scooters Sent Nearly 250 Riders to L.A. Emergency Rooms Last Year. Is That a Lot?

A UCLA study tracked a year of injuries from e-scooter use in two Southern California hospitals. How serious a safety risk are they?
He should probably find a helmet.
He should probably find a helmet.Mike Blake/Reuters

In the year-plus since rentable electric scooters descended en masse on American cities, a lot of people have been falling off of, and over, them. Just how many, however—and to what degree city officials and other regulators should care—remains a topic of some dispute.

Public officials have used safety concerns as a reason to ban the little dockless vehicles (as in Seattle). And in Baltimore, where a scooter pilot began in August 2018, safety was cited as a main driver behind a proposal to jail scooter users who exceed a 15-mph speed limit or ride on the sidewalk (the city quickly amended the legislation after an outcry). But while evidence of scooter-mania is abundant—Bird, one of the major companies, says it did 10 million rides in its first year—crash and injury data has so far been more anecdotal.