Spike Seen in Segway Injuries

A new study just published online in the Annals of Emergency Medicine reports that injuries that occur when riding personal two-wheeled <"http://www.yourlawyer.com/topics/overview/Segway-Injuries-Lawyer-Lawsuit">Segway transporters are not only increasing, but are significant. According to Consumer Affairs, the self-balancing transporters have been linked to an increasing number of accidents with three in 2006, eight in 2007, and 25 in just the first 11 months of 2008.

Researchers looked at data for 44 patients who were brought to emergency departments due to injuries that took place when riding the Segway, only seven percent said they work helmets, wrote Consumer Affairs. It is not mandatory in all states to wear a helmet when operating a Segway.

“The Segway may seem cool, but there’s nothing cool about a head injury,” said Mary Pat McKay, MD, MPH, FACEP, of George Washington University in Washington, DC, quoted Consumer Affairs. “One-quarter of the patients who came to our emergency department with Segway injuries were admitted to the hospital. Forty percent of the admitted patients were admitted to the ICU because they had traumatic brain injuries,” Dr. McKay added.

“All of the injuries were sustained by riders simply falling off, mostly from striking an inanimate object,” said Dr. McKay. “Segways are pretty new to the marketplace and it’s often only as products become popular that the risks involved become apparent,” reported Consumer Affairs.

According to the Segway website, the Segway is “electric transportation that doesn’t look, feel, or move like anything that has come before. And of all the conventional wisdom we’ve left in pieces behind us, none has been shattered more fully than the belief that we must choose between ‘more’ and ‘less.’” The firm says that it “continues to develop safe, unique transportation solutions that address urban congestion and pollution.”

“We urge the Consumer Product Safety Commission to assign the Segway a unique product code and collect data on injuries sustained from riding the Segway so we can develop a clearer idea of the scope of the problem,” McKay said. “In the meantime, all Segway riders should wear helmets and pay close attention to what is in front of and around them when riding,” quoted Consumer Affairs.

According to Consumer Affairs, in Washington DC, not only are the vehicles becoming increasingly dangerous to operators, they are becoming a nuisance to “pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorists,” specifically to the government there which is not overly thrilled with unlicensed tour guides setting up shop with their traveling tours city-wide.

In DC, tour guides must be licensed, paying $200 and passing a 100-question exam meant to ensure guides don’t tout incorrect information, said Consumer Affairs. Segs in the City, however, refuses to apply for the mandated licenses claiming that DC regulations violate the First Amendment, wrote Consumer Affairs.

Meanwhile, in Durango, Colorado, the city council voted to ban Segways from its Animas River Trail. I just don’t think our community is ready for it,” said Mayor Michael Rendon.” The community was concerned that not only would the vehicles open up trails to other motorized craft, but that Segways would be “incompatible,” even “dangerous,” to others, wrote the Durango Herald.

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