Scooter Safety
Brain Injury
Association
of America
Scooter Safety
8201 Greensboro Dr., Suite 611
McLean, VA 22102
Family Helpline: 1-800-444-6443
familyhelpline@biausa.org
www.biausa.org
We see them everywhere, children of all ages using them on sidewalks and in
streets, and often they’re not wearing helmets. It’s the old made new again,
lightweight, portable scooters. They feature low-friction skate wheels, light
materials and a collapsible handlebar.
Scooter Usage
The Directorate for Economic Analysis, a
division of the Consumer Product Safety
Commission (CPSC) that tracks the safety
effects of CPSC policies, predicts this year’s
scooter sales to be 2 to 5 million units - an
increase from virtually zero in 1999.1
Two-thirds of all scooter-related injuries are
to males. For the first time, in September
2000, scooter injuries surpassed in-line
skating injuries.2
Statistics
In the year 2000, there were almost 40,000
emergency room treated injuries associated
with scooters.2
In September of that year alone, there were
8,600 injuries - an increase of nearly 1,800
percent from May to September 2000.2
Children under age 15 are the most common
users of scooters.1
About 90 percent of the injuries sustained in
scooter crashes happen to children under
15.1
Nearly one third of injuries sustained in
scooter crashes in 2000 have involved
children under age eight.1
Proper use of helmets could reduce brain
injuries by 85 percent.1
Brain injuries can be particularly serious in
children, whose heads are proportionately
larger than adults so they tend to land head
first.
Creating a better future through brain injury prevention, research, education and advocacy
This fact sheet is supported in part by project U 93 MC 00010-05-01 Partnership for Information and Communication (PIC) Cooperative Agreement with the Department of
Health and Human Services (DHHS) Health Resources and Services Administration, Maternal and Child Health Bureau, Federal TBI Program.
2004
Prevention
Knee and elbow pads, along with wrist guards,
could prevent 34 percent of the total injuries.1
The CPSC suggests that children under age
eight not ride scooters without close adult
supervision.1
In early September 2000, the CPSC issued a
press release warning that scooter injuries
were on the rise and recommended wearing a
bicycle helmet, knee pads and elbow pads.
The advice was very similar to CPSC’s
findings on in-line skate injuries back in
1997.3
In October, press reports stated that twelve
communities in the U.S. had adopted or were
considering laws to require helmets for scooter
users, including laws already adopted in
Medford, NJ; Raleigh, NC; Milton, WA and
San Francisco, CA. In addition, Elizabeth, NJ
now has a law, and there is a bill pending to
adopt a statewide law in New Jersey.3
Sources:
1.
AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety September/October 2000.1.
2.
Consumer Product Safety Commission - “More Scooter Information.”
3.
Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute November 18, 2000.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission
has reports of five deaths relating to nonpowered scooters. Three deaths were reported
in January 2001. A man riding a scooter down
an Albuquerque roadway at night was struck
and killed by a pickup truck on January 25,
2001. A 12-year-old boy from Spring Hill,
Fla., died January 20, 2001, after both he and
his twin brother were hit by a car while riding
their scooters. A 10-year-old boy from Forest,
Ohio, died January 6, 2001 after a fall from a
scooter. The other two deaths were both in
September 2000 - a man died in Richmond,
Va., after fallingand hitting his head, and a 6year-old boy was hit by a car while riding a
scooter in Elizabeth, N.J.2
There are lots of helmets available that will be
adequate for scooter protection, particulary
since in-line skate helmets and bicycle helmets
are designed to an identical American Society
for Testing and Materials (ASTM) standard.
In addition, make sure you see a CPSC label
inside the helmet.3
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