Only recently has a study begun to track injuries resulting from the motor-assisted vehicles.
San Diego has been overtaken by a variety of dockless scooters on its city streets and sidewalks. However, some people are worried that they are a tragedy waiting to happen.
That's the focus of a recent Washington Post article that explores the question of the app-based services and hospital patients. In fact, the article hits close to home as San Diego's chief of medical staff at Scripps Mercy Hospital, Michael Sise confirms the fear.
"It’s just a matter of time before someone is killed. I’m absolutely certain of it," he said.
Sise reports that there have already been an increase in patients who use the scooters, “Injuries are coming in fast and furious,” he said.
According to The Post those injuries aren't just happening in San Diego but six other cities around the country. Cases include broken noses and blunt head trauma.
The UnionTribune reports that a man in Dallas died last weekend as a result of injuries sustained from riding a scooter. And a woman riding one in Cleveland was also killed after a suspected drunk driver struck her.
Locally an 11-year-old and her mother suffered major injuries in Mission Beach after a crash.
Since the dockless idea is so new, data is only beginning to be compiled about the safety hazards. UC San Francisco has begun a research study to track injuries caused by motor-assisted scooters.
One of the factors in predicting a possible casualty might be the absence of helmets. They are required to be worn in California, but riders seldom follow that rule and can often be seen without protection.
Bird, just one of the companies who have scooters in San Diego, offers free helmets to all active riders within their app. They ask only that you cover shipping.
This past June the San Diego Police Department said they cracking down on scooter rule-breakers including those who don't wear headgear or the ride them on the sidewalk.
A bill is currently on Gov. Jerry Brown's desk which, if signed, would mean only people 18 years and younger would be required to wear helmets thoughout the state.