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While Wilmington has been experiencing a chilly spring this year, it won’t be long until we are seeing more motorcyclists, bicyclists and those cruising around on the popular electric scooters, or e-scooters, as they are commonly known.

E-scooters first hit the United States market in 2017. Promoted as a green alternative to driving, they offer an economical and entertaining way to get from point “A” to point “B” — at least in fine weather. But they can also be downright dangerous.

What do the numbers say?

Agencies began collecting statistics of fatalities related to e-scooter riders in 2018. To date, there have been approximately 30 deaths. Of that number, 80% were killed in collisions with motor vehicle drivers. Moreover, there is no indication that these numbers will drop off anytime soon.

What are the dangers they face?

Part of the problem is that drivers are often unaware of the e-scooters as a mode of transportation. Unseen and unheard, e-scooter riders face risk when drivers switch lanes, enter intersections or back out of their driveways onto the street. The latter risk factor is especially dangerous for those operating e-scooters on sidewalks. Typically, a motorist is not going to be expecting a motorized scooter to be passing by their garage or drive as they back out.

As e-scooters are a relatively new mode of transportation, it’s clear that the majority of cities across the United States do not have the strong infrastructure and specially designed lanes for the safe operation of e-scooters and nonmotorized vehicles. One research study published this month in the Journal of Safety Research determined that collisions involving cars and e-scooters had different patterns than bicycle-car crashes, with one underlying commonality — both occurred due to the outdated infrastructure that was ill-equipped to accommodate all modes of transportation.

Were you injured in an e-scooter accident?

If you were hurt in a collision with a car while riding your e-scooter, you may need to take legal action against the at-fault driver who caused your wreck.