Ride with care, Scooter accidents are up

Wednesday, September 6th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

You see them on streets and sidewalks around the country. They are the six-pound portable scooters. Thousands of people are hopping on, especially children. "The scooters are really good, and I don't feel like I need a helmet," said one little girl in an interview with CBS News.

Statistics, however, say otherwise. More than 9,400 people have ended up in emergency rooms from accidents on scooters. Half of those accidents occurred just last month.
The chairman of the Consumer Products Safety Commission says the accident rate went up 700 percent since May in injuries. “We have a problem here,” he said.

The problem affects the Tulsa area, where scooters are in demand. Lee's Bicycles can't keep them in stock. Kids are the biggest customers, so the owner's not surprised by the injuries. "When you hit the brakes in the road, they're not quite as forgiving,” said Adam Vanderburg, bicycle shop owner. “The scooters can typically throw you a little bit easier.”

The wheels on the scooters are similar to those found on roller blades. This means you'll need to take similar precautions when on a scooter. You should wear a helmet and other protective pads. It's the number one safety tip from the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Also you should ride scooters on smooth, paved surfaces away from traffic. Avoid riding your scooter on sand, water, gravel or dirt. Above all, don't ride your scooter at night. It will cost around $50 to $100 to buy the safety equipment, but it could keep your child from scooting straight into the emergency room.