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Columbus Dispatch: As Scooter Use Rises, so Do Fears of Injuries

Broken ribs, collarbones and wrists, bruises, cuts and scrapes and even bleeding in the brain are just some of what emergency departments, like the one at OhioHealth Grant Medical Center, are seeing across central Ohio. No, not from car accidents, but from motorized scooter accidents.

The Columbus Dispatch spoke with Shay O’Mara, MD, OhioHealth’s system trauma chief, about the patients coming into their trauma center from scooter accidents.

“OhioHealth has looked into scooter-related injuries at the Grant trauma center from mid-July to mid-August. Limiting the search to just two ZIP codes in downtown Columbus revealed about a dozen injuries, comparable to the number of bicycle and pedestrian injuries seen in a month,” O’Mara told The Columbus Dispatch.

“That’s 150 people in a year. That’s a lot of people, and it’s just two zip codes,” he said.

Some of the injuries O’Mara has witnessed are from collisions with vehicles, scooter crashes and pedestrian collisions, all either on the sidewalk or on the street. He also found that “about a third”seems to have been due to intoxication.

“So you’re scootering drunk, and that’s dangerous,” he told The Columbus Dispatch. “Scooters are not a replacement for Uber.”

The City of Columbus recently announced new regulations for the Bird and Lime branded scooters, that including banning riders from sidewalks.

Although these regulations are meant to keep riders and pedestrians safe from injury, O’Mara does not believe these new rules will help keep people from getting hurt.

“If you were a friend or loved one of mine, I’d tell you, ‘Don’t get on one,’” O’Mara told The Columbus Dispatch. “I’m worried about how dangerous it is.”

To read the full article, click The Columbus Dispatch logo.