Indiana Daily Student

OPINION: Electric scooters are dangerous and need to be regulated

A woman rides an electric scooter Sept. 26, 2021, toward Sample Gates.
A woman rides an electric scooter Sept. 26, 2021, toward Sample Gates.

On Aug. 13, I missed my bus by only a few minutes. After a hard day at work I just wanted to go home, so I decided to use a Lime scooter for the first time in two years. Big mistake. 

I was two-thirds of the way home when my hat lifted off of my head and, without thinking, I reached back to grab it. With only one hand on the scooter, I flew off. I broke my left thumb, fractured my right wrist and cried on the phone to my mom while I walked the rest of the way home.

I went to the emergency room that afternoon, and temporary casts were put on my arms to prevent my injuries from worsening. A few days later, I got an actual cast which lasted for four weeks. 

Really, I’m just lucky something worse — like a head injury — didn’t happen.  

Electric scooters have injured or almost injured many people. A coworker has told me someone ran over her leg with a scooter, and I’ve even seen people on scooters hit cars. 

Bloomington should revisit the idea of putting more regulations on scooters, such as requiring helmets or adding more bike lanes on the roads so there would be a designated place for people to ride scooters. The city could even consider banning them if nothing else works. 

Bloomington isn’t the only city that has to deal with electric scooter accidents. Other college towns like Lafayette also have many electric scooter accidents. 

Purdue graduate Crystal Long went to the hospital with a broken nose after falling off of an electric scooter. Long said she and a friend were riding around campus on scooters when another person on a scooter was driving toward them on the wrong side of the sidewalk.

“I tried avoiding him and I ended up hitting a hole and face planting on the bricks,” Long said. 

Sometimes falling isn’t the biggest danger, but what could happen after falling off of the scooter is. 

“I hit the curb and I flew off of it onto the sidewalk,'' IU sophomore Justin Opell said. “If I had landed in the street I probably would have been hit by a car.”

Bloomington is full of people who drive electric scooters. Some people ride them while drunk which can result in severe injuries to themselves and others. 

The scooter companies recommend wearing a helmet while riding them, but most people don’t carry a helmet around. The scooter companies should provide a helmet with each scooter so people can ride them safely. 

I have seen countless people ride scooters recklessly, so it's no wonder people are getting hurt. I have seen up to three people on a scooter at once, and with one wrong turn, they all could have gotten hurt. 

After my last experience, I don’t think I will ever ride another electric scooter again. I would rather wait an hour for the bus than get hurt riding a scooter. I hope Bloomington and the scooter companies take steps to increase the safety of electric scooters so they are not as dangerous in the future. 

Olivia Franklin (she/her) is a junior studying journalism with a minor in political science. She is a member of the swim club at IU and the Women in Media organization.

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