CPSC: Operator Error Leading Cause of Scooter Injuries

The result of a year-long study, released June 14 by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), finds there were an estimated 10,000 emergency room injuries involving powered scooters from July 2003 through June 2004, the first year for which there is reliable data.
Scooters targeted by the study are stand-up models powered by either electric or small displacement gasoline engines. They sometimes have detachable seats.
According to the CPSC staff report, less than half of all victims were wearing helmets at the time of the incident, and few were wearing other safety gear such as knee and elbow pads. Approximately two-thirds of all injuries occurred in children under 15 years old.
CPSC Chairman Hal Stratton said that because 7 out of 10 incidents were behavior or environment-related, following local laws and CPSC safety guidelines can play a strong role in protecting children.
“The good news,” Chairman Stratton said, “is that parents can help significantly reduce deaths and injuries to children by taking simple safety precautions such as making sure their kids wear helmets, ride only on smooth surfaces and avoid riding at night.”
Other findings by CPSC staff study include:
Seventy-one percent of the incidents were related to the operator, and about one in five incidents was blamed on scooter problems – including brake failure, loose handlebars, the accelerator sticking and cuts on sharp edges of the unit.

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