Are Scooters Dangerous?

Electric scooters are becoming increasingly popular modes of transportation. These vehicles offer a less expensive alternative to cars and provide the rider with a fun experience on the way to their destination. There are even companies that loan scooters in urban areas. The user finds a scooter via an app, pays their fee, hops on, and rides away. This has become an extremely convenient alternative to walking or biking for many people.

However, the increasing popularity of these transportation systems is making many people wonder whether they’re actually safe to ride. While riders can’t drive at particularly high speeds, there are still plenty of opportunities for accidents and injuries. Before you think about buying or using a scooter this spring, it’s important to know the facts about their safety.

Are Scooters Dangerous?

Location Matters

It’s important to note that where you ride your scooter matters a great deal. Though rental scooter companies only operate in highly populated areas, it’s best to ride these machines on quiet streets with high visibility. Unfortunately, most city streets are not constructed this way. Because of this, about 55% of all scooter injuries occur on the street.

Some people believe that the sidewalk is a viable alternative, but this isn’t true either. Sidewalk riders make up 33% of accidents, but that’s not the only reason riding on pedestrian walkways is a bad idea. Weaving in and out of pedestrians is never safe, and you run the risk of someone stepping into your path before you can react. Pedestrians often wear headphones or talk on the phone as they walk. If you ride among them, you are turning their on-foot commute into a dangerous venture.

What’s more, many cities ban scooters on city sidewalks, and bike lanes are most appropriate for these vehicles.

Buses, Cars, and Bicycles

Scooters cannot go on highways, meaning they are allowed only on streets where traffic stays below 30 mph. Other common vehicles on these roads are buses, cars, and bicycles. Buses can cause significant damage to scooter riders, as the drivers can’t always see scooters from their vantage point. Cars are much the same. All in all, there are a lot of other vehicles sharing the road with scooter riders, which provides ample opportunities for collisions.

No Safer Than Motorcycles

Many people are surprised to find that scooters are not significantly safer than motorcycles. Though they do generally operate at lower speeds, scooters are commonly used in areas with lots of people. What’s more, a significant amount of damage can be done at a low speed, especially when there are more objects to collide with after the initial impact. Though motorcycles are certainly not safe either, drivers can give them more space on highways and interstates than many vehicles can give to scooters in urban areas.


A key factor in the safety of scooters is helmet use. Many people who rent scooters do not have a helmet with them when they get on, making them vulnerable to traumatic brain injuries. These injuries are always serious and can raise the overall death toll of scooter riders significantly. Helmets are a key aspect of safety for scooter and motorcycle riders. Since scooter riders often forgo helmets, scooters are especially dangerous.

So, Are Scooters Safe?

It’s difficult to provide a singular answer to the ultimate question of safety. Your safety really depends on how you drive your scooter, your protective gear, and those around you. However, overall, scooters are not considered a safe option. Though they may be convenient, the risks often outweigh the rewards. Public transportation and walking have far fewer risks for physical safety.

Scooter Safety Tips

If you decide to ride a scooter, either your own or a rented one, there are ways to minimize your risk and help preserve your health and safety. Consider doing the following when you ride:

  • Wear a helmet every time. This can protect your brain in the case of an accident.
  • Only ride on quiet streets.
  • Don’t ride if you’re under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  • Ride in the bike lane or at the side of the road, not on the sidewalk.
  • Be sure you’re wearing appropriate and protective clothing. It’s best to have closed-toed shoes, long pants, and covered arms in case of an accident.
  • Have an attorney you can contact in case of an accident. In some scenarios, you may be able to get compensation for any damages after an accident.

Contact an Illinois Scooter Accident Lawyer

Here at Franks Gerkin Ponitz & Greeley, we specialize in accident law. We can help you seek compensation following your Illinois scooter accident. Contact us today to learn more.

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