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Doctors share concerns and risks about electric scooters

ABC7

If you’ve been in the DMV area this summer, chances are you’ve seen scooters buzzing by.

“You just hop on and go!” said Adrian Smith, as he stepped on board his rented scooter.

Smith says he rides a scooter every day.

“As you can see, it’s raining and we still riding!” he said. “Rain, sleet or snow, I want one!”

He admits that he’s crashed before, but says he still feels safe.

“I see a lot of people riding on sidewalks pretty quickly,” said Dylan Yosick, a D.C. resident who says he’s been renting the scooters for about a year.

Yosick says he’s never been hurt.

“I’ve never seen anybody wear a helmet," Yosick said. "I don’t wear a helmet. I’m not saying it’s the right thing to do."

It worries Dr. Sarah Combs with Children’s National Health System.

“We forget that there is a real risk and we forget that this should come with a helmet attached,” she said. “This should come with pads attached.”

Combs works in the emergency department at Children’s National Health System. She says in their emergency department, they’ve seen more than 50 patients come in over the past year with injuries from non-motorized scooters. More than 20 of them, she says, had fractures.

“I think it’s high when you consider that there are some simple measures that could’ve likely prevented that,” she said.

One of the scooters that the ABC7 team saw in D.C. reminds users that they must wear helmets, obey traffic laws, and be 18 or older to ride.

Lime, a dockless electric scooter share, launched in D.C. in September as a part of the District’s pilot program, according to the company.

“The recent repairs to the Metro have also coincided with a significant increase in Lime ridership in the areas served by those lines," Lime said.

In regard to safety, the company says, “Lime takes the safety of its riders very seriously, and encourages users to be responsible and careful. When someone uses a Lime vehicle for the first time, the app takes them through a safety tutorial. Lime also educates people in-person and through website video tutorials. And Lime always instructs riders to abide by the city’s helmet laws and encourages helmet use with all of our modes of transportation.”

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