Are Lime Scooters Headed for Chicago?
Lime scooters may be coming to Chicago as soon as this month and bringing with them an increased risk of serious personal injuries. While services such as Lime promise people increased mobility and ease of travel, they often fail to warn users of the potential risks of taking a ride. E-scooters are taking off nationwide and they are leaving a significant number of riders seriously injured in their wake.
E-Scooters and Personal Injuries
Studies compiled in California in 2018 showed that head injuries account for 40% of injuries sustained and treated in hospital emergency rooms following e-scooter accidents. This is not terribly surprising as only 4% of riders choose to wear helmets while operating an e-scooter. Bone fractures account for 32%, while the remaining 28% comprise cuts, sprains, and bruises. This is roughly the same pattern of injuries that were reported in the months and years following the release of Segways nearly 20 years ago.
74% of injuries sustained while operating Lime e-scooters involve falls, while 10% involve collisions with objects. 8% involve collisions with motor vehicles, bikes, or other scooters. Of those who are injured in incidents involving e-scooters, approximately 92% are the riders themselves.
Limes that are Lemons
Lime’s e-scooters have serious design defects that can cause them to break while they are in operation. These defects include design flaws that allow the scooters to break apart while the rider is operating the scooter. This can cause riders to lose control of the scooter, fall off the scooter, or lose control over the vehicle’s direction thus causing an accident with motor vehicles or other stationary objects.
The company’s social media accounts are filled with complaints and photographs documenting the dangers of operating the company’s e-scooters. To date, a total of two deaths have been recorded following accidents with Lime scooters.
Lime in Chicago
Lime has been attempting to enter the Chicago market for more than a year now. Last year, the City Council introduced an ordinance establishing rules of the road for e-scooters. However, this legislation is still in committee and it remains to be seen whether the Chicago Department of Transportation will approve Lime’s bid to set up shop. Even so, the company has installed docking stations on the South Side of the city in the hopes that city officials will make that decision and grant their request in the near future.