‘Like a Death Wish’: Boom in Electric Scooters Leads to More Injuries, Fatalities

People ride Lime shared dockless electric scooters along Venice Beach on Aug. 13, 2018, in Los Angeles. (Credit: Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Posted 12:15 PM, June 6, 2019, By Associated Press, Updated at 01:05PM, JUNE 6, 2019 | Trends in Personal Injury

Andrew Hardy was crossing the street on an electric scooter in downtown Los Angeles when a car struck him at 50 miles per hour and flung him 15 feet in the air before he smacked his head on the pavement and fell unconscious.

The 26-year-old snapped two bones in each leg, broke a thighbone, shattered a kneecap, punctured a lung and fractured three vertebrae in his neck, in addition to sustaining a head injury.

“My brother thought I was dead,” said Hardy, who wasn’t wearing a helmet.

Doctors told Hardy he’d likely be paralyzed for life. Five months later, he has learned to walk again. But he says he’ll never ride another scooter.

“These scooters should not be available to the public,” Hardy said. “Those things are like a death wish.”

As stand-up electric scooters have rolled into more than 100 cities worldwide, many of the people riding them are ending up in the emergency room with serious injuries. Others have been killed. There are no comprehensive statistics available but a rough count by The Associated Press of media reports turned up at least 11 electric scooter rider deaths in the U.S. since the beginning of 2018. Nine were on rented scooters and two on ones the victims owned.

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