Consumer Reports: How safe are electric scooters?

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- E-scooters are exploding in popularity across the country. Philadelphia has approved their use but e-scooters can't hit city streets until they're also approved by the state legislature.

The scooters are the newest of ride-sharing programs, and if you're traveling to another big city this summer, they will likely be an option for you to get around. But one of the big questions about this relatively new mode of transportation involves safety.

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A push for electric scooters in Philadelphia. Maggie Kent has more on Action News at 4 p.m. on Feb. 27, 2019.

So before you hop on check out these results from Consumer Reports.

Battery powered e-scooters can travel 15-miles-per-hour, but what's really accelerating is their popularity in cities across the country.

Some are concerned about the risk of injury due to their speed and the possibility of falling.

Consumer Reports contacted hospitals, municipal agencies, and universities in 47 cities with e-scooter programs and estimated 1,500 people were injured in an e-scooter-related accident since late 2017.

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Electric scooter injuries on the rise. Ali Gorman reports during Action News at 5 p.m. on January 25, 2019.

"We talked to several doctors at trauma centers and they said they've been treating serious injuries related to e-scooters. They've seen broken bones, even brain injuries related to e-scooter accidents," said Ryan Felton of Consumer Reports.

According to a C.R. survey, more than half of e-scooter riders never wear a helmet.

The two biggest e-scooter rental companies, Lime and Bird, said safety is paramount and they're eager to work with cities to safely deploy scooters.

Lime just held a pop-up demonstration outside Philadelphia City Hall last month. Under proposed Pennsylvania legislation, e-scooters would be under the same regulations as bicycles.

But right now many cities don't have e-scooter safety requirements, including helmet laws, nor do they have guidelines on where, exactly, to ride your scooter so you have to be vigilant about your own safety.

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The company "Lime" set up a demo outside of City Hall as reported during Action News at 4 on May 30, 2019.

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