There are over 250,000 scooter trips happening in Tampa, FL this year which is why safety is now a concern. As such, while the City Council is praising the city’s scooter program, it’s also asking for more information about safety and injuries. This isn’t because they’re out of touch with reality because City Council member John Dingfelder admits that while he enjoys going fast on his scooter, hitting a bump and almost falling off recently has him scared. However, transportation director Jean Duncan says that the city doesn’t always know about a scooter accident and its accompanying injuries unless it’s horrific.
Data Surrounding Scooters in Tampa, FL
Statistics are a bit concerning and include:
- A Consumer Reports investigation found that over 1,500 people have been injured in a scooter accident since 2017.
- The Centers for Disease Control said that during a three-month period 271 people received injuries from riding their scooters.
- Dr. David Wein, director of emergency medicine at Tampa General Hospital says they’ve seen “a fair amount” of people who have received sprains, bruises, and concussions in scooter accidents.
Understanding the Data
Unfortunately, even with these statistics it’s difficult to come up with an exact number of injuries. This is mainly because the word “scooter” includes everything from medical scooters to mopeds. There’s also no way to know for sure whether the scooter is to blame when an accident does occur since medical journals publish the headlines that local governments and scooter companies tend to monitor and if there isn’t a hospital or law enforcement report attached to the record then nothing more is known than the accident has simply occurred.
There isn’t a centralized, comprehensive data source that contains this information. As such, some professionals are in discussion regarding creating a more comprehensive tracking method. This information would be gathered from hospital emergency rooms, police departments, and scooter companies.
The Center for Urban Transportation Research in Tampa is also working to create formalized reports. They’re looking at how many of these vehicles are legal. In addition, they’re evaluating the frequency, severity, and causes of scooter collisions as well as their economic and environmental impact.
Why Research is now Being Conducted
The city is also receiving complaints regarding scooter safety concerns (e.g. racing between pedestrians, too many people on the scooter, riding on sidewalks). According to city bicycle and pedestrian engineer Calvin Thornton Tampa isn’t getting this information from the four major vendors (Bird, Spin, Jump, Lime) even though they can do so. Thornton says it simply isn’t necessary and that the only information the city needs from them is in regard to scooter usage, ridership, and performance. This is because he doesn’t believe that people would use these apps to report their own injuries because then they’d be liable for any damages.
When you get in a scooter accident, you should at least make sure that you have an experienced law firm on your side. This is why you should have the number for the Rojas Law Group. If you’re injured while riding your scooter, make sure you give them a call right away.
Picture Credit: Max Eberlein