A recent meeting held by the Tulsa Urban and Economic Development Committee addressed issues pertaining to electric scooter injuries.

The motorized vehicles are popular here and in cities across the country. However, there are increasing concerns about safety risks and injuries associated with e-scooter accidents. According to an October 28, 2019 report by Tulsa’s News On 6, the council approved new rules setting limits on their use with the goal of protecting riders and other road users. 

Concerns About E-Scooter Safety

A consumer bulletin sent by Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner Glen Mulready on October 18, 2019 warned about the serious injury risks posed by electric scooters, which are available for rent in Tulsa and other cities throughout the state. Now that cooler fall temperatures have arrived, the bulletin advises that more people are likely to take advantage of local e-scooter rentals. However, they warn riders to be aware of the safety risks. 

The bulletin cites studies claiming nearly ten people have been killed in e-scooter accidents across the country while thousands more users suffer serious and potentially debilitating injuries. Unfortunately, it is not only riders who face these risks. “E-scooter accidents can result in broken bones, dislocated joints, and damage to muscles, tendons, and ligaments,” warns Dr. Kris Parchuri of Spine & Orthopedic Specialists Tulsa. “These injuries can end up causing ongoing health issues if not treated properly and can impact riders as well as pedestrians and other motorists involved in e-scooter accidents.” 

New Ordinances and Insurance Concerns Add to Scooter Controversy

To reduce the risk of e-scooter accidents and injuries, Tulsa council members recently approved two new ordinances. The first limits areas where e-scooters may be used. The motorized vehicles are now prohibited from being driven on sidewalks or on certain busy streets. The second prohibits more than one user from being on an e-scooter at any given time. “These ordinances seem designed to both reduce the likelihood of e-scooter accidents and the severity of injuries in the event one does occur, “ says Dr. Parchuri. 

Unfortunately, a third ordinance limiting the use of e-scooters to people over 16 was defeated due to the impacts it would have likely had on young bicyclists.

Parents will need to be particularly cautious in allowing young people to ride e-scooters. The Oklahoma Department of Insurance warns that it is also important to be aware that insurance may not cover the medical expenses or other costs involved when these types of accidents or injuries happen. Regardless of medical coverage, Dr. Parchuri warns accident victims to seek treatment immediately for e-scooter injuries. “Not getting prompt medical care, even if your injuries appear minor, could  cause complications and may endanger your overall health.”