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Head injuries and Concussions in a Jump Scooter Accident

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California Vehicle Code Section 27803 requires all motorcycle drivers and passengers to wear a safety helmet when on a motorcycle, motor-driven cycle, or motorized bicycle. It defines “wear a safety helmet” as having a code-compliant helmet on the person’s head that is fastened with the helmet straps and that is of a size that fits the wearing person’s head securely without excessive lateral or vertical movement. I think it can be agreed this is fairly specific and detailed. It goes on the further state that it is the intent of the Legislature to ensure all persons are provided with an additional safety benefit while operating or riding a motorcycle, motor-driven cycle, or motorized bicycle. Obviously the safety they are intending to provide is to the head, to help avoid head injuries and concussions that are so common in the operation of a motorcycle.

So, if the user is 18 years or older, why is a helmet not required when riding a Jump scooter? A Jump scooter can reach speeds of 15 mph. The same reasoning that inspired the State legislature to apply 27803 to the users of a motorcycle can arguably be applied to Jump scooters. Further danger and risk of head injury and concussion is presented by the fact that as a motorized vehicle, they must be ridden on the street. Thus, on a Jump scooter you must share the roadway with autos. In an impact with a vehicle that is so much heavier and capable of higher speeds, the operator of a Jump scooter is at a much higher risk of sustaining serious bodily injury, most notably head injury and concussions.

In a recent study performed by UCLA based on information gathered at two Los Angeles based hospitals, notably UCLA Medical Center of Santa Monica and Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, head injuries and concussions were most common. Findings showed that of the injuries reported, 40% were diagnosed as head injuries and concussions. Most accidents involved the Jump scooter operator running into an object while in some the Jump scooter was struck by a vehicle. In a few, the Jump scooter actually struck a pedestrian, which can cause the same head injury and concussion to the pedestrian as it could to the scooter operator. Researchers took to the streets to observe e-scooter riders at various intersections for a total of seven hours. 94% of the 193 scooter operators were not wearing helmets.

Despite the risk of sustaining a head injury or concussion in a Jump scooter accident, the same laws that were formulated to protect motorcycle riders are not applied to Jump scooters. As studies show, despite the law, to protect oneself from head injuries and concussions, it is most advisable to wear a helmet when operating a Jump scooter.





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