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Emergency rooms see rise in scooter accidents

On average, Dr. Smith says HCMC treated about five scooter injures every day this summer - from foot fractures to severe head injuries.

Emergency rooms across the country have seen an increase in patients injured while riding electric scooters. And one Twin Cities emergency physician is issuing a warning about the dangers.

Dr. Stephen Smith works at Hennepin County Medical Center. In his 32 years at HCMC he said he’s never seen anything like what the hospital has experienced.

“We’ve seen an epidemic of injuries from electric scooters. We call it acute traumatic Lime disease because the scooters, most of them are Lime scooters,” he said. “They are dangerous. If you have to ride one, wear a helmet.”

On average, he said they treated about five scooter injures every day this summer. The injuries ranged from foot fractures to severe head and facial injuries.

“Every shift I had we would see two or three. I’m only one of ten shifts per day,” he said.

Lime riders told KARE TV before the ride is activated, an app associated with the scooter warns about riders about  dangers and recommends wearing a helmet.  In Minnesota, it is illegal for children under the age of 12 to ride electric scooters.

“I see children riding them all the time. This should be illegal. They don’t drive cars in the streets and they drive (Scooters) without helmets,” Smith said.

Smith said people are abandoning the scooters, creating another problem.

“People in wheelchairs say they can’t get around anymore because they are running into scooters left on side of sidewalk,” Smith said. “They are left lying all over.”

RELATED: Minneapolis adds scooter parking areas downtown

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