E-Scooters in Chicago: Riders Under the Influence
Operating electric scooters while under the influence of alcohol may put riders and those around them at risk for serious accidents. According to data from the Chicago Department of Transportation, area hospitals reported an e-scooter related injury rate of 0.27 per 100,00 trips during the city’s 2020 scooter pilot program between August and December. Alcohol, speed, and not knowing how to properly operate the scooter are all factos that may play a role in many scooter-involved wrecks.
Alcohol Use and E-Scooter Accidents
Research, including a study published in the Trauma Surgery & Acute Care Open journal, has shown many scooter riders injured in accidents were under the influence of alcohol. During the study period, included medical facilities admitted 103 patients involved in electric scooter accidents. The medical facilities conducted blood alcohol level screenings on 78% of the admitted e-scooter accident patients. Of the patients tested, 48% had BAC levels that met or exceeded the legal limit for operating a motor vehicle. Even at low levels, the effects of alcohol on the body may impair riders’ abilities and increase their risk of crashing.
The Effects of Alcohol on Electric Scooter Riders
Consuming alcohol may have ranging effects on the body, which may affect people’s ability to safely operate e-scooters. Some of the most common effects of drinking alcohol may include the following:
- Loss of small-muscle control and muscle coordination
- Released inhibitions
- Decreased alertness
- Loss of balance
- Self-control, judgment, memory, and reasoning impairments
Due to these and other effects of alcohol on the body, scooter riders may experience decreased coordination, difficulty steering, speed control issues, impaired perception, and other such impairments. Impairments such as these may play a role in riders falling or losing control of their scooters.
Common E-Scooter Injuries
People may suffer a range of injuries due to electric scooter accidents. Crashing into people, vehicles, or objects, as well as falling from scooters traveling at speeds may result in minor injuries such as bruises, cuts, and abrasions. Such accidents may also lead to more serious injuries, including broken bones, traumatic brain injuries, abdominal trauma, and blunt chest trauma.
Whether a rider, a pedestrian, or a vehicle occupant, involvement in e-scooter accidents may leave people with serious injuries and a variety of challenges. However, options may exist for pursuing compensatory damages that may offer much-needed financial support as people heal from their injuries.