From Iceland — One To Two Accidents Involving Electric Scooters A Day

One To Two Accidents Involving Electric Scooters A Day

Published July 9, 2020

Sam O'Donnell
Photo by
Art Bicnick

Every day, one to two people land in the emergency room due to accidents on electric scooters, Vísir reports. The two-wheeled transportation devices have seen a spike in popularity in recent years. They received their own category at customs at the turn of the year, and according to a survey by the news agency, 4,500 scooters were imported into Iceland between January and May. This is a much higher number than all of last year.

According to Hjalti Már Björnsson, chief medical officer at Landspítali’s emergency room, the correlation between new modes of transportation and an increase in accidents is to be expected. “All innovations in people’s travel methods have some accidents. There has been a huge increase in the use of these electric scooters, and we are seeing one to two accidents a day because of them.”

Children and adults alike have sought emergency care due to accidents related to the scooters, including fractures and head injuries. However, most injuries are minor. “Most accidents happen simply because people drive on the pavement edge and lose their balance,” Hjalti said. “Some accidents happen when people are on these scooters under the influence of alcohol, which we of course do not recommend.”

According to the CEO of Hopp, the largest scooter rental company in Iceland, they have over 100 scooters in use, and have run more than 400,000 kilometers since last autumn. This is equivalent to about 300 trips around the country.

Because of this heavy use, Hjalti says the accident rate is not very high compared to other transportation methods. However, he does urge people to be careful. “We also need to continue to improve the traffic system to provide better flexibility for those using electric scooters, bicycles, skateboards, and other modes of transportation besides the car.”

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