E-scooter injuries becoming “all too common” at Canberra emergency departments

Lottie Twyford 22 January 2021 41
Canberra Hospital

Nearly 60 Canberrans have presented at emergency departments with an e-scooter-related injury. Photo: File.

Recently released data shows nearly 60 Canberrans have presented to the emergency departments at Canberra and Calvary Hospitals with scooter-related injuries in the first few months since their introduction to the Territory.

Seven people attended Calvary Hospital, while more than 50 presented to Canberra Hospital. One of those people was Dan, who fractured both wrists when a car reversed out of a Hungry Jacks drive-thru and hit him while he was riding.

As Dan explained to Region Media: “Because the scooters don’t have a great centre of gravity, I fell straight onto the road and landed hard on both wrists. I think I was in a state of shock because all I could think about was the fact I was about to be late to work.”

Dan attempted to scooter on, before giving up and catching an Uber.

Once he arrived at work, however, the shock had worn off and pain set in – and so off to the ED he went.

Yet Dan remains an avid e-scooter user, saying the e-scooters are great for making those shorter journeys when public transport or walking is not an option.

He also says rocking up to his work at a primary school every morning on a scooter has “made me infinitely cooler in the kids’ eyes”.

But to avoid a repeat of the same situation, he does think both the e-scooter companies – Beam and Neuron – and the ACT Government need to educate drivers as well as riders. He suggests a YouTube video campaign could be helpful reminding drivers that e-scooter riders, like cyclists, need to be watched out for.

READ ALSO: Night-time ‘fishing’ all part of the job for Canberra’s scooter crew

Another keen e-scooter-er says he had a “near-miss” in which his ribs, feet and hands could have been broken but he managed instead to wind up with bruises all over his body.

Yet what he is calling for is greater maintenance of paths, particularly in older suburbs such as Ainslie, where cracks and bumps often appear, meaning they are not so well-suited for e-scootering.

Some users say the problem is Canberra’s uneven pavements. Photo: Supplied.

Other scooter-ers have sustained injuries such as broken fingers, ankles and tibia.

Ali Bryant says he was “scootering home after a tame night out” in the rain when he misjudged how slippery the paths were, and fell off the scooter “landing funny”.

After presenting at Canberra Hospital, he was told these sorts of injuries were becoming “all too common”.

READ ALSO: The Best Electric Scooter Shops & Servicing in Canberra

Allegra has also done herself some damage, falling off a Neuron a few weeks ago and fracturing her tibia as well as tearing a ligament in her shin. She suggests all e-scooters need to be fitted with lights if they are going to be ridden in the evenings.

Both are undeterred by their injuries and continue to ride them.

Some, of course, accept full responsibility for their misfortune. One user we spoke to noted that her ankle injury was sustained when she was riding home at 4:00 am (and in retrospect shouldn’t have been on a scooter).

E-scooter providers stress that it’s illegal to use scooters under the influence of alcohol or drugs, nor should they be ridden in tandem. Neuron’s fleet (orange) is only to be used by users 18-plus, while Beam (purple) permits users 16-plus. Helmets are compulsory and you’re only meant to be on the road if absolutely necessary (as in, there’s no footpath).

ACT Policing is calling for common sense from all users and both Beam and Neuron run regular safety programs and campaigns to educate riders and potential riders.

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41 Responses to E-scooter injuries becoming “all too common” at Canberra emergency departments
Stephen Coulter Stephen Coulter 10:09 am 17 Dec 20

This article is pretty useless without relativity. Any form of transport has accidents. Over the same period how many people were treated at the same hospitals as a result of bike, motor bike, skateboard and car crashes. Of the incidents involving bikes, scooters, skateboards, motorbikes – how many were the fault of the car driver? If you research this data you will have a far more interesting article and may be surprised at your findings.

Monica Smith Monica Smith 11:27 pm 15 Dec 20

I hope the lady that fell off our side my house today recovers from what looked like some pretty nasty scrapes on her knees.

Steph Dempster Steph Dempster 9:49 pm 15 Dec 20

Tikarra Looke too soon?

Paul Murray Paul Murray 12:01 pm 14 Dec 20

Couple of weeks ago, 3am, I saw a bloke perched on top of two milk crates on a scooter, feet in the air, weaving his way down Alinga st and having a great old time. That line from “The Joker” – you get what you deserve – comes to mind.

Brisal Brisal 10:21 am 14 Dec 20

It sounds like some of these scooterists are finding out what it is like to be a cyclist. First, there are the dodgy and broken paths that aren’t maintained. Then there is the constant situational awareness you need to operate with on the assumption that every car hasn’t seen you. And then you have “those” scooterists/cyclists who run red lights, don’t use helmets, dangerously weave in and out, or are blissfully braindead-unaware of their surroundings, who give everyone else a bad name.

Jake Neddrie Jake Neddrie 9:06 am 14 Dec 20

Tegan Hayes haha bard.

Rod Yeo Rod Yeo 6:51 pm 13 Dec 20

Hmmm, justified Darwin awards if you don't wear the provided helmet.

Michael Hawley Michael Hawley 6:51 pm 13 Dec 20

So, if these injuries were not happening prior to commercial operators making a profit, why are the commercial operators not being forced to contribute to the added costs incurred by our health system? Enough week government.

Jorge Gatica Jorge Gatica 6:44 pm 13 Dec 20

These things are a menace to society and the environment

Aaron Croke Aaron Croke 6:33 pm 13 Dec 20

Kristie Mitchell This make sense haha

Narelle Slarke Narelle Slarke 3:58 pm 13 Dec 20

Yes I came flying off at Dickson / Lyneham lights there when I was going up the gutter must have been going too fast -I broke my arm.

Off work for 6 weeks at Xmas my busiest time. Use my arms for a living 🤔

Julio Franco Julio Franco 3:16 pm 13 Dec 20

They’ve been banned everywhere else in the world, just a question of time for the ACT

    Damien Harrop Damien Harrop 5:16 pm 13 Dec 20

    Julio Franco banned where exactly?

    Karen Widdowson Karen Widdowson 6:31 pm 13 Dec 20

    Last time I was in Sydney and Brisbane they were everywhere in the city centres..

    Patrick Keogh Patrick Keogh 8:10 am 16 Dec 20

    Julio Franco your statement is untrue.

    Julio Franco Julio Franco 9:08 am 16 Dec 20

    Patrick Keogh, how untrue? Please disregard Sydney and Melbourne

Michael Oneill Michael Oneill 3:09 pm 13 Dec 20

Aaron ha near miss

Shane Campbell Shane Campbell 3:08 pm 13 Dec 20

Erin Townsend maybe Hannah had you screaming for a good reason? 🤣🤣🤣

Rhonda Maxwell Rhonda Maxwell 2:27 pm 13 Dec 20

I had a close call with a rider. He wore no helmet and cut the corner in an underground car park.

    Elsa Gaskell Elsa Gaskell 3:26 pm 13 Dec 20

    I had a similar experience with a pair of riders, taking a blind corner around a building at speed, except I was walking down the footpath and they had to swerve to avoid me

    Rhonda Maxwell Rhonda Maxwell 6:34 pm 13 Dec 20

    Elsa Gaskell A large part of me really hopes they come a cropper.

Jill Worrell Jill Worrell 1:59 pm 13 Dec 20

Bill Worrell exactly what we were talking about

Robert Hawes Robert Hawes 1:17 pm 13 Dec 20

I would ride one of these bikes but posts like this one discourage me.

Dani Moffitt Dani Moffitt 1:01 pm 13 Dec 20

Toni, Alison, Demi - lucky we were safe!

David Perkins David Perkins 12:34 pm 13 Dec 20

The scooters are being riden unlawfully on roads, also at night with weak headlights. A collision with a car is only a matter of time. It won't be a trip to ED but to the undertaker. Helmets are worn about half the time. They are often to be found on the ground separated from the scooter. Someone will end up a vegetable with brain injuries. Police need to urgently and vigorously enforce the road rules.

Dean Chapman Dean Chapman 12:05 pm 13 Dec 20

Sean Catlin if you just had a little bend in the knees you would have been fine. You owe me a pair of sunglasses 😎

    Sean Catlin Sean Catlin 12:13 pm 13 Dec 20

    Dean Chapman all matters regarding this should be directed at my lawyer as he is handling the matter now.

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