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Nevada governor signs law allowing electric scooter programs

Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak signed a bill into law on June 3 that allows local authorities in the Silver State to authorize companies like Bird and Lime to operate electric scooter sharing programs. The skateboard-sized machines can travel at speeds of up to 15 mph and be rented for as little as $1, but they have also been linked to worrying rises in serious head injuries.

Detailed information about electric scooter injuries is sparse because the machines are relatively new. However, what data there is makes for sobering reading. Figures gathered by public officials in Texas and the Centers for Disease Control reveal that 192 scooter riders were injured in Austin in only three months in 2018, and a worrying 15% of them suffered traumatic brain injuries. A peer-reviewed study co-authored by a Los Angeles trauma doctor suggests that about 40% of the scooter riders who crash suffer some sort of head injury.

Wearing helmets could provide scooter riders with some protection, but Lime and Bird do not include them and few renters carry their own. The new Nevada law allows local authorities to charge scooter rental companies fees, but it does not require riders to wear helmets. Most analysts expect the situation to get worse because scooter schemes are extremely popular. Rented scooters were used to take 38.5 million trips in 2018 according to the National Association of City Transportation Officials.

Scooter riders often suffer brain injuries after being struck by vehicles. When these accidents are caused by negligent actions, experienced personal injury attorneys may take legal action. An attorney advocating on behalf of an injured scooter rider may seek compensation for lost income, hospital bills, property damage and the long-term costs of medical treatment and physical therapy.

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