The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has provided a preview of an upcoming report on e-scooter and hoverboard safety, and it serves as a warning to consumers who use these popular “micromobility” products.
The advance release shows that injuries and deaths to riders continue to rise. It also shows that accidents and injuries involving these products leveled off in 2020 when most people spent more time at home.
According to CPSC researchers, emergency rooms treated more than 190,000 people from 2017 through 2020 who had been injured in micromobility accidents. The increase steadily rose during that period.
Mechanical, electrical, and human factors
E-scooters, which became widely used in urban areas, accounted for a large portion of the injuries. These kinds of injuries rose from 7,700 in 2017 to 25,400 in 2020.
Injuries most frequently involved arms and legs, as well as the head and the neck. CPSC said it is aware of 71 fatalities associated with micromobility products from 2017 through 2020, although reporting is incomplete.
“The hazards associated with micromobility products primarily fall into three broad areas: mechanical, electrical, and human factors,” the safety agency said in a release. “To address these hazards, CPSC staff continues to work with ASTM International and Underwriters Laboratories (UL) to develop and make improvements to, voluntary standards.”
The CPSC said it has analyzed incident data and tested for various hazards associated with the products. The agency said it is also working with federal partners and industry stakeholders to promote micromobility safety.
E-scooter manufacturing and sales got a boost in recent years when urban-based companies began renting these scooters to pedestrians needing to travel several blocks in a large city. There are also scooter-sharing systems that use apps allowing users to rent the scooters by the minute.
People using micromobility products should be mindful of safety procedures. Riders should always wear a helmet to reduce the risk of serious head injuries. Before riding an e-scooter, check it for any damage, which includes examining the handlebars, brakes, throttle, bell, lights, tires, cables, and frame. The CPSC says damage to the e-scooter can cause loss of control and lead to a crash.