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Electric Scooter Accidents: Common Injuries

  • Life
Rising electric scooter accidents demand awareness of safety gear, laws, and user behavior to prevent injuries and fatalities.

With the increasing use of electric scooters, the number of accidents involving them, known as electric scooter accidents, has also risen sharply. There have been ongoing concerns about this issue, and a recent incident involving four female students riding on a single scooter sparked controversy. Such cases underscore the importance of safe usage of electric scooters.

1. Statistics on Electric Scooter Accidents

According to data provided by the Korea Transportation Safety Authority, electric scooter accidents in Korea have significantly increased over the last five years. In 2018, there were 225 accidents, but by 2022, this number surged to 2386. This means the number of accidents has increased more than tenfold in five years. The number of fatalities has also been on the rise. In 2018, there were 4 deaths due to the accidents, but this number increased to 26 in 2022. The number of injuries also jumped from 238 in 2018 to 2684 in 2022.

These data indicate that the safety issues related to electric scooters are serious, highlighting the need for increased user awareness and strict adherence to relevant laws and safety regulations. Continuous attention and efforts are required for the safe usage of electric scooters.

2. Major Types of Injuries in Electric Scooter Accidents

Accidents while using electric scooters often lead to severe injuries, especially head and facial trauma. A study by the team at Gangnam Severance Hospital, which analyzed patients injured in electric scooter accidents, revealed that head and facial injuries accounted for 48.8% of all injuries. The most common were lacerations, followed by concussions, dental injuries, skin abrasions, and fractures.

The structural characteristics of electric scooters are partly to blame for these injuries. Designed with small wheels and a high center of gravity, they are prone to causing head-first impacts during falls. Additionally, electric scooters can easily accelerate but are relatively difficult to stop. Sudden stops at the maximum speed of 25km/h can lead to falls due to the forward shift in the center of gravity.

3. Causes of Accidents and User Negligence

Most electric scooter accidents stem from user negligence and improper riding habits. Key causes include rider inattention, carrying more than one passenger, driving under the influence, and wearing earphones.

Particularly, riding with more than one person significantly increases the severity of injuries in accidents due to the difficulty in balancing and reduced efficiency of the braking system due to increased weight. This also makes it harder to respond appropriately in emergencies.

4. Importance of Safety Gear and Riding Rules for Electric Scooter

Wearing safety gear is essential when using electric scooters, especially helmets. According to a study by Chonnam National University Hospital, out of 15 severe trauma patients from the accidents, 14 were not wearing helmets, and among them, 5 suffered serious injuries such as death, coma, or paralysis. Since May 2021, under the revised Road Traffic Act, a fine of 20,000 won is imposed for riding an electric scooter without a helmet.

It is also important to follow certain rules for safe riding. Before riding, users should familiarize themselves with the scooter’s controls and check the condition of the tires and handles. Avoiding speeding, obeying traffic signals, and refraining from using earphones or mobile phones while riding are crucial. Drunk driving and carrying more than one passenger should be strictly prohibited. Following these safety rules plays a key role in reducing electric scooter accidents and ensuring user safety.