PEV Injuries on the Rise

As someone who crashed while riding a Sur-Ron recently, these new injury numbers from the CPSC are a good reminder to be careful while riding. They lump in e-scooters with ebikes so its unclear what the differences between the two types of PEV’s might be like.

A new report, Micromobility Products-Related Deaths, Injuries, and Hazard Patterns, released today by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), shows that injuries associated with all micromobility devices increased nearly 21% in 2022 from 2021. Micromobility-related injuries have trended upward since 2017, increasing an estimated average 23% annually.

The report estimates the number of injuries based on data collected from a nationally representative sample of U.S. hospitals. It shows that e-scooters continue to show increases in injuries, year-over-year, rising 22% in 2022 from 2021. Nearly half (46%) of all estimated e-bike injuries from 2017 to 2022 occurred in 2022 alone. Hoverboard injuries defied the upward trend, and decreased 26% from 2021 to 2022.

CPSC is also aware of 233 deaths associated with micromobility devices from 2017 through 2022, although reporting is ongoing and incomplete.

Report Highlights:

  • There were an estimated 360,800 emergency department visits related to all micromobility devices from 2017 through 2022. 
  • Fractures, followed by contusions/abrasions, are the two most common injuries. The most frequently injured body areas are the upper and lower limbs, as well as the head and neck.
  • May through October had the largest percentages for both e-scooter and e-bike related injuries whereas December and January had the largest percentages for hoverboard-related injuries.

Fires were a significant hazard across all micromobility devices. CPSC is aware of 19 deaths associated with micromobility device fires from January 1, 2021, through November 28, 2022. In a December 2022, CPSC called on more than 2,000 manufacturers, importers, distributors and retailers of e-scooters, self-balancing scooters (often referred to as hoverboards), e-bicycles and e-unicycles to review their product lines and ensure they comply with established voluntary safety standards to reduce the serious risk of dangerous fires with these products or face possible enforcement action.

See also  Everything We Learned from Lectric Ebikes Live Event

Consumers should take these steps to prevent fires with micromobility devices:

  • CPSC urges consumers to only use micromobility products that have been designed, manufactured, and certified for compliance with the applicable consensus safety standards.
  • Always be present when charging micromobility products, never while sleeping, and only use the supplied charger.
  • Only use an approved replacement battery pack.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper charging and unplug the device when done.
  • Never use an micromobility device with a battery pack that has been modified/reworked by unqualified personnel or with re-purposed or used cells.
  • NEVER throw lithium batteries into the trash or general recycling. Instead, take them to your local battery recycler or hazardous waste collection center. 

Because collisions with motor vehicles and control issues are leading hazards, CPSC urges consumers to do the following: 

  • Always wear a bicycle helmet when riding to protect your head in a fall. 
  • Before riding, make sure to check for any damage, which includes examining the handlebars, brakes, throttle, bell, lights, tires, cables and frame. 
  • See and be seen. Most deaths involve motor vehicles. Many micromobility products are small, quick, and quiet, making it difficult for others to spot you, especially in parking lots and structures.
    • Expect vehicle drivers and pedestrians not to see you; slow down and stay aware of your surroundings.
    • Use the bell/horn to alert others. 
    • Do not make abrupt, unpredictable movements. 
  • Beware of obstacles. E-scooters have small tires, so objects and uneven surfaces can cause them to stop suddenly, throwing you off.
    • Always keep both hands on the handlebars and keep items off the handlebars.
    • Slow down and lean back when you have to ride over bumps.
    • Never ride under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
    • Only one person per scooter; additional riders can increase the risk and severity of collisions.
  • Follow all manufacturer directions, review the safety information and identify and weight and age limits for the micromobility device. 
See also  Random Ebike Headlines

Report safety incidents or concerns with consumer products to CPSC at www.SaferProducts.gov.