The rise of micro-mobility in Raleigh and across the U.S. over the past few years has been fueled by a desire by consumers for cheap, convenient transportation options in urban areas clogged by automobiles. The micro-mobility trend has seen the emergence of shared and dockless electric scooters (or e-scooters) marketed by companies such as Lime and Bird in Raleigh.
While e-scooter rentals are easy and affordable, they have also given rise to collisions between the lightweight scooters and their unprotected riders and the heavy metal and glass enclosures that know as cars, trucks and SUVs. Unsurprisingly, these crashes can result in devastating injuries to the e-scooter users.
We read of a recent downtown Raleigh crash in which the electric scooter rider was hospitalized with a leg injury after a law enforcement official said the man crashed into a car around 12:30 a.m.
Police said a car was traveling on South Dawson Street when the e-scooter began crossing the street at a red light. The rider suffered what was described as a minor injury, though he was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment.
No one in the motor vehicle sustained injuries, police said.
WRAL had previously reported that a recent study determined that life-threatening injuries sustained by e-scooter riders are becoming more common. As the surge in scooter use continues, so too does rule-breaking by riders who too often ignore helmet requirements and laws mandating that the scooters can only be driven in bike lanes rather than on sidewalks.
The study found that only 4% of scooter riders wear helmets. It's no coincidence that 40% of life-threatening injuries to those riders involve head injuries.
It is just as important that car drivers are aware of the scooters and that they are treated as equal road-sharing partners with the same rights as other motorists. In that way, all of us using Raleigh's streets have improved odds of getting home safe and sound.