Electric scooter rentals are becoming more popular in cities around the country as an affordable, green ride-sharing option. If you ride electric scooters, however, keep in mind the potential for a serious injury from a fall or collision. 

Emergency room doctors at Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles, California, where electric scooter rentals are extremely popular, note that as the scooters become more common, serious injuries related to them have also increased. They also observe that they are seeing more scooter injuries among people in their 40s or older. While you do not necessarily have to give up electric scooters altogether, you should follow safety precautions to keep yourself and those around you safe. 

1. Check for defects

Rental scooters may sustain damage after many rides. Some may have defects in the design or manufacture. Riders have reported some serious malfunctions involving uncontrollable speed or batteries catching fire. 

Before taking a ride on a rental scooter, check the following for functionality or signs of damage: 

  • Throttle 
  • Brakes 
  • Battery 
  • Lights 
  • Wheels 

Contact customer service for a different scooter if you see any signs of damage or defect. 

2. Avoid distractions

As with any other wheeled and/or motorized transportation device, you should avoid any distractions that take your mind, eyes or hands away from what you are doing. Do not use a cell phone while on an electric scooter. 

3. Follow regulations

Both the scooter rental company and your community have rules and laws governing scooter use. Know and obey these regulations as it relates to solo riding, staying off the sidewalk, etc. 

4. Wear a helmet

Despite your precautions, you may still become involved in a scooter accident. Wearing a helmet helps to protect you from serious injuries if you fall and hit your head.