By Kathy Walsh
DENVER (CBS4)– Electric scooters are the new way to get around in a number of cities, including Denver. But, they also seem to be the new way to get hurt.
Some clinics are reporting an increase in patients with injuries from scooter accidents.
Phil Schaefer was on his electric longboard when he crashed at 11th Avenue and York Street in Denver.
“I would say I’m very, very lucky,” Schaefer told CBS4 Health Specialist Kathy Walsh.
On the night of Aug. 3 he was riding his longboard home to the Congress Park neighborhood. Construction barricades and fencing blocked the sidewalk at 11th and York. Schaefer says construction also blocked a stop sign.
“I didn’t see it ‘til I was going thru it and then I T-boned a car on York that was going south and the back tire ran over my left leg,” said Schaefer.
“Accidents are going to happen,” said Peter Guando, physician assistant at the UCHealth Steele Street Urgent Care.
Since electric scooters hit the streets of Denver, Guando says the staff sees three to five injuries a week at the urgent care.
“The most common injuries we’re seeing are more head and hand injuries where people are actually falling off the scooter or colliding with other devices,” said Guando.
He cautions riders to wear helmets, stay off cellphones and be sober.
“I definitely have seen people come in with some injuries who’ve been using either drugs or alcohol,” he said.
“I really like the idea of alternative transportation, but it’s just extremely dangerous in downtown,” lamented Schaefer.
So, he plans to park his electric longboard in the city. His message for scooter enthusiasts, “Be safe, follow the rules of the road, be expecting that the cars aren’t going to be expecting you.”
In Denver, it is illegal to drive electric scooters on the road or in bike lanes. They must be ridden on sidewalks.