Like most residents of North Carolina, you have probably noticed an increasing number of people using electric scooters to get around. Scooters offer an alternative to traditional public transportation, private vehicles and ride-share services, and some of their selling points include affordability and eco-friendliness. Electric scooters are not completely safe, however, and many people do not know how to operate them correctly. Whether you use a scooter daily as part of your commute or simply want to try one out next time you are in town, it is essential to understand how to keep yourself and others safe while you ride.

Any form of transportation carries the potential for injury, and electric scooters are no exception. According to an article published on the website of the National Center for Biotechnology Information, the growing use of electric scooters has contributed to an increasing number of craniofacial injuries. In the decade between 2008 and 2017, the annual incidence of craniofacial injuries related to motorized scooters tripled. Many of these head injuries affected riders who were not wearing helmets while riding.

Wearing a helmet may help prevent head and face injuries, including lacerations and concussions, while you are riding a scooter. There are scooter helmets on the market, but a bike helmet may provide a similar level of protection. Another way to lower the risk of injury is to use an electric scooter properly. Tandem riding is a common misuse that may increase the risk of injury for both riders. Scooters are vehicles, so it is important to avoid using them in a reckless manner or while impaired by alcohol or drugs.

This information on electric scooter safety is intended to be educational and should not be taken as legal advice.