San Antonio Hospitals See Spike In E-Scooter Injuries | Texas Public Radio

San Antonio Hospitals See Spike In E-Scooter Injuries

Oct 31, 2018

A man riding against traffic downtown was struck by a car Tuesday night is the latest in electronic scooter-related accidents since the San Antonio Fire Department started collecting data at the end of September.

Between Sept 25 and Oct. 28, fire department ambulances responded to 25 emergency calls. Fourteen of the calls required transportation to a hospital. On Oct. 1, a rider fell while on the River Walk level of Houston and St. Mary’s streets and broke their leg. Two possible broken arms occurred on Sept. 28 and Oct. 25, and several possible head traumas, like on Oct. 27 when a rider at 200 S. Alamo St. fell and struck their head. The report said responders found them with an “altered mental state.”

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Eleven calls required no transport. Most of the calls were precipitated by a rider falling from the scooter. It was noted that several falls were due to “infrastructure,” as people fell after hitting potholes or cracks in the pavement.

Last month, TPR talked with emergency rooms downtown who noted a similar increase.

The city passed rules for scooters Oct. 11, approving a pilot program that will be reviewed in six months. The ordinance requires users wear helmets. The ordinance also requires a local fleet manager but does not require companies to prove they maintain the scooters.

Lime scooters announced late Tuesday it had recalled 2,000 scooters because its batteries could catch fire.  In a statement, the company said they learned of the defect in August and it only affected a tenth of a percent of their scooters — the Ninebot built by manufacturer Segway.

Vulnerable devices were in the Los Angeles, San Diego and Lake Tahoe, California, markets and have been removed, said the company in a statement. An unconfirmed report of a different Segway model being affected has also been reported, but no word on how many and what market fleets would be affected.

The Bird scooter company also has purchased Segway Ninebots for its fleet. 

"We contacted Segway Ninebot to obtain their verification that scooters purchased by Bird are free of any manufacturer defects found in Lime's earlier model scooters," said a Bird Spokesperson. 

Nearly 100 bicycle accidents, or around eight per month, required a visit to University Health’s Trauma Center in 2017. Similarly, 28 people per month were taken there after being struck by cars last year, according to the University Health community trauma report.

Paul Flahive can be reached at paul@tpr.org or on Twitter @paulflahive