It's no secret that Fort Lauderdale is a hot spot for pedestrian and bicycle accidents. In fact, Fort Lauderdale has the second highest rate of pedestrian accident fatalities in the entire nation. However, recent months have seen a spike in a different type of accident - scooters.
The Dockless Bike Share and Scooter Share, also known as the Dockless Mobility Program, is the city's newest shared transportation initiative. Tourists and locals alike are hopping on rented bicycles and scooters, and the results are less than great. While residents may be seeing a rise in scooters and bicycles on the street, doctors are also seeing a rise in scooter-related accidents.
Could you be next on the city's list of victims? Check out these tips on what to do if you've been injured in a Fort Lauderdale scooter or bicycle accident.
Causes of Rental Scooter & Bicycle Accidents
Put simply, Fort Lauderdale is not known to be the best in terms of pedestrian and cyclist safety. In a recent survey, only 37 percent of Fort Lauderdale residents were satisfied with the safety of walking in the area, and a mere 25 percent were satisfied with the safety of biking. When the city began its Dockless Mobility Program November 1, the hope was that the use of rental bicycles, electric bicycles, and electric scooters would help clear up congestion on the roads and help people get around the area easier.
In the first month of the program, over 40,000 rides were recorded. Things would appear to be off to a great start, aside from the fact that accidents began occurring on a near-daily basis. Currently, doctors at the emergency department at Broward Health Medical Center are reporting anywhere from 5 to 10 cases related to electric scooters every week.
There are major questions about the safety of electronic scooters and bicycles, which go up to 15 miles an hour and run on a 250-watt motor. Scooters are rented via a smartphone app, in which riders are supposed to agree they are both 18 or older and licensed drivers. However, a recent accident which left a 14-year-old in critical condition has demonstrated that not every rider logging onto the app is being exactly honest about their age.
In addition to younger users manning the scooters and bicycles, other causes of accidents include:
- Rider negligence
- Negligent or reckless drivers
- Product defect
- Limited visibility when operating the scooter or bike
- Riders under the influence of alchohol
Common Scooter and Bicycle Accident Injuries
Even when riding on the sidewalk, it's possible to be involved in an accident on a scooter or bicycle. In the plethora of injuries that have occurred since the Dockless Mobility Program's started, doctors in the area have been treating everything from cuts, bumps, and bruises, to broken bones and head trauma.
Injuries vary depending on the level of trauma. For instance, a rider could fall to the ground, or they could be lifted in the air by an oncoming vehicle. As such, the range of injuries caused by Fort Lauderdale accidents encompasses mere scrapes and bruises to critical fractures and brain injuries.
Injuries that can be sustained from a scooter or bicycle accident include:
- Muscle tears
- Head injuries
- Broken bones
- Organ injuries
- Herniated disc
- Fractured disc
- Cuts and abrasions
Scooter or Bicycle Accident Injury Checklist
It's impossible to prepare for a Fort Lauderdale scooter or bicycle accident. While you can practice safe riding, the unpredictability of surrounding motorists, congestion in the area, and a variety of other factors can put you at risk for accident injury.
If you are involved in a Fort Lauderdale scooter or bicycle accident, stay calm. Refer to this checklist:
- Check yourself and others involved for injuries
- Contact the police
- Exchange information with the other driver, if applicable
- Seek immediate medical attention
It is paramount you ensure your health and wellness after a scooter or bicycle accident. Injuries such as whiplash, head trauma, or disc damage will not be visible to the naked eye. Moreover, these type of injuries, referred to as "delayed symptom injuries," can take 24 to 48 hours to show signs. Therefore, it is critical to have any damage assessed and identified as soon as possible.
At ChiroCare of Fort Lauderdale, our physicians are available for medical image testing. Whether you're suffering from localized pain in the neck, to an unidentified ache in the back, our physicians will identify the source of pain prior to administering any treatment. Next, a chiropractor will outline a treatment plan designed specifically for your injuries that will help promote healing, alleviate pain, and decrease any inflammation that may have resulted from your injuries.
If you've been a victim of a Fort Lauderdale scooter or bicycle accident, don't hesitate. Contact ChiroCare of Florida today.