E-Scooter Ban in Virginia Beach Highlights Injury Dangers

Stephen M. Smith
Last Updated:
December 1, 2019
E scooters dangerously line the streets without any safety gear.

After a summer of unregulated e-scooter use on the Boardwalk at Virginia Beach, the city had enough. It brought in new regulations including a partial ban on Bird and Lime machines in Aug 2019.

The move meant Bird and Lime scooter companies are scaling back their presence on the Oceanfront by relocating 500 to 1,000 e-scooters.

The companies said it would be updating its apps needed to rent the dockless scooters with new instructions for riders and geofencing to set up virtual boundaries, according to WAVY.com.

The ban followed a surge in injuries linked to e-scooters in the summer of 2019. The e-scooters are no longer permitted east of Arctic Avenue between Rudee Loop and 42nd Street.

Virginia Beach Mayor Bobby Dyer told the city council e-scooters pose an unacceptable danger to public safety shortly before members voted on the ban.

Since May 2019, at least 10 people have been admitted with serious injuries at Virginia Beach General Hospital due to scooter accidents.

Statistics from Virginia Beach EMS found 65 people have been treated for scooter-related injuries in the summer of 2019. Signs have been produced to remind scooter riders where they should not ride.

A city press release stated that Virginia Beach police officers will be starting an “educate and enforce” campaign into effect to inform riders.

What Are the Dangers of E-Scooters in Virginia Beach?

The Virginia Beach experience is little different to that of other cities where an influx of e-scooters resulted in an upsurge in emergency room visits.

Earlier in 2019, increased concerns over electric scooter safety resulted in an investigation by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Cities such as Austin in Texas saw a large spike in injuries after electric scooters hit the streets.

The CDC study identified more than 270 people with potential scooter-related injuries from September 5th through November 30th, 2018. It found about 20 people are injured on e-scooters per 100,000 trips.

Worryingly, many of the injuries reported from e-scooters are head injuries. As we have seen in Virginia Beach and Norfolk, many riders fail to wear helmets and suffer the consequences when they fall off their scooters. The CDC found 50% of all injuries were traumatic brain injuries. These could have been prevented or alleviated by the wearing of a helmet but only one in 190 injured riders wore one.

The increase in injuries has yet to affect the popularity of electric scooters. They are cheap and battery-powered and can be picked up at many city locations. According to the National Association of City Transportation Officials, 38.5 million trips were taken on dockless scooters in U.S. cities in 2018.

What Are the Main Injuries Associated with E-Scooters?

The most common injuries associated with e-scooters are the following:

  • Concussions, closed head injuries, and lacerations
  • Fractures of the skull and neck
  • Broken wrists and arm injuries
  • Internal bleeding.

According to Healthline, no jurisdictions make helmets mandatory for e-scooter riders.

Dr. Amishav Bresler, the co-author of a report on scooter dangers, warned injuries on e-scooters can be catastrophic.

He warned riders must take steps to make their experience safer including wearing a helmet, kneepads, and elbow pads as if they were on a skateboard or riding a bicycle.

Talk to a Virginia E-Scooter Injury Lawyer

At the Smith Law Center, our attorneys have represented many clients who suffered serious traumatic brain injuries and other injuries. We are concerned the accidents seen so far on e-scooters are just the tip of the iceberg. If you or a family member suffered a scooter injury due to the actions of another person or a defect on the scooter, please contact us today.

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