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E-scooter injuries on the rise

A row of orange and gray e-scooters.

Oct. 9, 2020—Hoverboards, e-scooters and electric bikes are fun, convenient ways to get around. And they've been increasing in popularity over the past few years.

Unfortunately, injuries and deaths linked to their use have risen as well. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), emergency department visits associated with these "micromobility" products rose from about 34,000 in 2017 to about 54,800 in 2019. And at least 41 people died during that period while using them. (Reporting is incomplete, so the real number may actually be higher.)

E-scooters have been responsible for most of the deaths. And more than half of e-scooter injuries involved adults age 25 and older.

To stay safe while using your e-scooter, follow these tips from the CPSC every time you ride:

Wear a helmet. This can help protect your head in case of a fall or collision.

Check for damage. Make sure that the handlebars, brakes, throttle, bell, lights, tires, cables and frame are in good shape before each ride.

Test the brakes before each ride. It's also a good idea to become familiar with how long it takes your scooter to come to a halt, in case you have to make an emergency stop.

Stay visible. Expect others not to see you. Slow down, and don't make sudden moves. Use your bell to let people know you're in the vicinity.

Ride safely. Keep both hands on the handlebars, and don't hang items from them. Slow down and lean back when you see a bump coming. And don't take on any passengers. Adding riders to your scooter makes accidents more likely.

Don't ride under the influence. Never use alcohol or drugs before riding on your scooter.

Don't be distracted. Avoid listening to music while riding. Keep your ears tuned to your environment at all times.

Don't perform stunts. Jumps and bumps can make the scooter unstable.

Read the manufacturer's directions. Check the scooter's weight and age limits. Many scooters are made specifically for adult riders and could be dangerous for kids.

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