Everything Wrong With E-Scooters | Untangled

Everything Wrong With E-Scooters | Untangled


It seems like e-scooters have been popping up everywhere
in the last few years. Companies like Bird, Lime, and Ojo have placed their e-scooters in over 100 cities and towns around the world. And they’re even more popular in the US than bike-sharing programs, according to the National Association of City Transportation Officials. But, while those
bike-sharing programs seem to have it all figured out, dock-less e-scooters
have hit some speed bumps along the way. The e-scooter premise is simple. You use an app to find and
unlock a scooter near you, ride it where you need to go, and then leave it there
for the next person. The company takes care
of charging the battery and making sure the scooters
are where they need to be. Pricing varies, but generally there is an initial unlocking fee
along with a per-minute fee. Some other additional fees are possible, like if you venture outside
the scooter’s “home zone.” The scooters are designed
to tackle transportation and congestion issues in towns and cities. Sure, the scooters are a
form of shared mobility and are convenient and affordable, but that doesn’t mean they’re perfect. Pedestrians, cars, bikes,
pretty much everyone is trying to adapt to sharing
the roads and sidewalks, while riders are confused
about where to use them and what regulations to follow. Sidewalk, bike lane, or road? With traffic or against it? And then there’s the question of parking. Without designated docking
stations for e-scooters, they can end up in a pile, obstructing sidewalks and crosswalks. It’s not so much the scooters themselves that are to blame, but the people behind the handlebars who choose to ignore the rules. These aren’t problems that
can be easily ignored. And parking issues aren’t
the biggest concern when it comes to e-scooters. Tarak Trivedi: There are definite
dangers, including death. I mean, we’ve seen a
number of deaths already since they’ve been introduced. That’s UCLA Health emergency physician Tarak Trivedi. After seeing so many patients
with scooter-related injuries, he decided to study them
and publish the results. Trivedi: So, anecdotally,
some of the stories that I’ve heard are: I fell off. I don’t know how. The break didn’t work appropriately. The accelerator got stuck. There was a pothole in
the road that I missed. I was riding, and the sidewalk
was a little bit uneven, and I sort of just tipped over. Hit by cars, of course, intoxication
and not paying attention. The Associated Press reported there were 11 deaths linked to e-scooters
from the start of 2018 through June of 2019. But that’s a rough estimate, since there’s no official data available. And that’s not including the
1,500 injuries also reported in that same time period. Trivedi: Overall, we found 249
emergency-department visits that were associated with an electric-scooter use of some sort. Some other results that
we found interesting were that almost no one
was wearing a helmet. Approximately 30% of our injured patients actually had
some sort of fracture, and 40% of them had some
sort of head injury. Those stats are kind of alarming. They should make helmets
a requirement, right? There’s a lot of arguments inside of required, mandatory-helmet laws. On one hand, we know that
helmets protect the skull and brain. However, some cyclists and cyclist-advocacy organizations argue against mandatory-helmet laws, saying that it makes people less likely to use bicycles in general. And the same applies to e-scooters. Which means local governments
have to do all they can to keep riders safe. And in some cities, that
means no e-scooters at all. New York City, for example, has yet to install an e-scooter program because of safety and
infrastructure concerns. But just across the Hudson River, in the 1-square-mile city
of Hoboken, New Jersey, e-scooters are everywhere. Hoboken has pilot e-scooter programs with both Lime and Ojo in hopes of addressing
their lack of street space and parking demands. Ryan Sharp: The benefit
of doing a pilot program for six months is that it
gives the city an opportunity to test out the model
of e-scooter sharing. To put out surveys to the
public, to get their feedback, and to collect data to see how popular or how much ridership is
happening through this program. Narrator: Pilot programs
help these cities learn what works, what doesn’t, and where they can make improvements, like setting safety standards and better educating scooter riders. Sharp: Some of the major rules
that everybody has to follow includes no riding on sidewalks, you must ride in the direction of traffic. There’s an age requirement, you must be 18 years or older to ride. Only one rider per scooter,
so no tandem riding. Narrator: Rules are posted on the scooters on signs around the city and reinforced in the app itself. It’s in the scooter
company’s best interest to comply with all the local laws. As the vehicles become more widespread, cities like Washington, DC, and Atlanta are imposing strict
restrictions on their usage or banning them completely. Some of these polices may be the result of rider misuse, like breaking local laws and leaving scooters in
all the wrong places. But at least they’re better
for the environment, right? Not quite. In fact, compared to
other transport options, e-scooters are not as
green and eco-friendly as you might think. A study published in the journal Environmental Research Letters found that a lot of greenhouse
gases are created when manufacturing and
transporting the scooters. In fact, scooters typically
emit more greenhouse gases than buses with high
ridership and electric bikes. But it doesn’t look like
they’re going to go away anytime soon. They’re convenient, easy,
and, we have to admit, fun. So how do you keep everyone safe and not infuriate local residents with sky-high piles of scooters? It’s a shared responsibility
between the riders, pedestrians, companies,
and local governments. Towns and cities need to
make sure they designate where scooters should be ridden and keep them safe for everyone. In Hoboken, local police
are enforcing scooter rules through citations and suspending or even terminating accounts. Meanwhile, companies need to make sure that they are enforcing the rules and that the scooters are not disruptive to local residents. As for the riders, they need
to understand and acknowledge they are operating a moving vehicle. Trivedi: A number of people
also came in intoxicated. About 10% of our riders were
actually under the legal age; they were under 18 years of age. Narrator: It’s clear
changes need to be made to make e-scooters safer
and less disruptive. We don’t really think about it now, but before 1915, stop signs
for cars didn’t exist, and the US had no uniform
approach to street safety until the mid-1920s. Hopefully, it won’t take
that long to solve the issues e-scooters present. And if you’re riding one,
consider wearing a helmet. Follow all the local rules,
and maybe stick to areas without many pedestrians or cars. Don’t leave it in the
middle of the sidewalk. And don’t forget to enjoy the ride. It, like, doesn’t, whoa!

76 thoughts on “Everything Wrong With E-Scooters | Untangled

  1. They go too fast for the pavement, and they're not suitable for roads. They clutter up public spaces. So they should be banned.

  2. Just make sure your e-scooter is made in germany so in case you get hit by a made in china truck, the truck and the truck driver will die.

  3. This escooter are a good idea… But this a treat to the city bus because people will stop using the bus… 🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔

  4. Only 1,500 injuries reported while Lime alone just recorded its 100 millionth ride 2 weeks ago. With Byrd and Spin that means there have been at LEAST 150 million total rides so far. That's one injury in every 100,000 rides. This story is a perfect example of scare tactic reporting without divulging the full data spread.

  5. Tech insider make something that's not a problem into a problem… 11 Deaths a year is nothing… People walking in a cross walk is probably higher than e scooters deaths. All these questions where to ride the e-scooter depends on the city ordinance and state laws. some cities have bike lanes and have local laws saying you have to ride escooters on the road while other cities have no bike lanes or they have no laws for bikes and e-scooters at all because its not a big problem. To sit here and make laws about commonsense and waste another billion dollars of tax dollars is a joke.
    Edit: Common Sense is needed to ride a E-Scooter. I would even say majority of people never road a scooter but they are going to jump to the fast electric one with no previous knowledge how to ride a scooter or keep your balance.

  6. Safety bugs/throttle: of several timeshare scooter brands I recently tried in Boulder, throttles all accelerated while walking alongside; throttle should be limited, if not disabled, when no rider on board. Also, with handlebars turned, they all accelerated strongly from stop. I'd limit acceleration rate when handlebars turned. Without federal regulation, we at least need an industry association to set minimum safety standards/design gudelines/best practices. Current equipment seems not ready for public consumption. AFAIK, only one company designs their own scooters; the others buy off-the-shelf scooters like Segway, Xiaomi, Razor.

  7. 3:17 Helmets. In US, bike helmets mandatory in many places, widely promoted. (I cycle with a helmet.) AFAICT, in Europe, hardly used.

  8. people are throwing them in river, scooters should have some kind cam in them which help the companies find these assholes

  9. When I was driving in SF I saw a girl fall from the scooter while going througg an intersection. No helmet, no shoulder or knee pads. You're going how fast on these and no protection is required? How is that Ok

  10. These stupid scooters are laying around everywhere in Columbus Ohio littering & cluttering up the sidewalks. It's impossible to ride a bike or anything on the sidewalks. I've never seen one person using them.

  11. Sure there are some negativities, but where i’m from where we have a university in the city, they’re a huge help. To and from class without carbon emissions is amazing (plus not parking everytime) not to mention…they’re electric! sure walking works well as well but going to and from class in a short period of time without a scooter leaves no room for a bite or time. These flaws need to be sorted out with the city and all, but they do more good than bad. it’s good to see electric transportation that’s not killing our planet and will push for a less ‘carbon footprint’ form of transportation

  12. Just start throwing them in the trash cans. They can pick them up at the dump. If someone wants a scooter they can go buy one.

  13. To merely say I disagree is not enough to express the extent of my disappointment with this article.

  14. Y is it the governments job to make sure people know how to ride a scooter. If your the idiot that doesn't know how to ride one and gets on one. It should be your fault.

  15. I rode some in Colorado. Honestly, if people didn't leave them in bad spots, I don't really see a problem. One thing I couldn't figure out is if I was supposed to ride them in the street or on the sidewalk. Most of the time, I didn't feel safe on the streets with cars flying by and no bike lane, so I opted to go at a slower rate on the sidewalk especially when there were people around.

  16. I personally use it on sidewalks why? Because cars don’t even respect bikes you really think they’re gonna respect electric scooters?

  17. Cities that allow them brought it on themselves… People that get hurt by not reading/following the instructions and laws that are still in effect even on a rented scooter brought it on themselves… #murika #bebest

    Other things that fall under this category of brought it on themselves… Ride share and vaping.

  18. I hate them. First we gave up our space to the cars. Now we are giving up our little space that we have to stupid scooters. I live in Madrid and sidewalk is full of scooters because tourist park them as they want.

  19. I'm so glad to see some well-informed opinions here. Now I can't help but wonder why TI would portrait e-scooters like such a risky solution to congested transportation.

  20. The issue is the lack of responsibility for users. E-Scooters are sold to public as a fun toy so people are like tourists who dont care, they just want have fun so it end up with accident for them or the others. You cant even blame the riders since its kinda a trap for them.

  21. You failed to mention the ergonomic design and steering flaws combined with speed and inexperience that contribute to the chances of injury or death.

  22. I have never saw a helmet used before. The scooters should have one with them since i dont see people carrying a helmet with them

  23. I own a scooter 🛴 I haven’t have an accident (thank god) in the two years I have own it, why? bc I ride responsibility and respectful, people the had die or had accidents is for a reason not bc they were riding responsibility, I’m sorry I know it sounds terrible but is the reality.

  24. This is just a black propaganda by car manufacturers and taxi operators because their profit declines because e-scooters is faster and cheaper than them.

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