Czech Republic sees rise in number of accidents involving e-scooters

Accidents involving e-scooters in Czech cities have seen an increase this year, according to local emergency room physicians. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 13.08.2022 09:59:00 (updated on 13.08.2022) Reading time: 2 minutes

The Czech Republic doesn't independently track accidents involving e-scooters, but their number has seen a sharp rise this year according to an interview with emergency room physicians conducted by local newspaper Právo.

Most accidents involve those unfamiliar with the vehicles as well as local traffic laws, and riders typically do not wear helmets or other forms of protection. Accidents frequently involve foreign tourists, who have returned to the Czech Republic in large numbers this summer following two years of pandemic restrictions.

"Recently, the increase [in e-scooter accidents] has been quite significant." Milan Krtička, head of the Department of Trauma Surgery at the Brno University Hospital, told Právo. "Compared to previous years, [they are up] by a third".

Prague hospitals have also treated large number of patients injured in accidents involving e-scooters this year. Some of the injuries can be serious, requiring an operation or lengthy hospital stay.

"At the outpatient clinic, we treat several of these patients a day, and we frequently also have to operate on these patients, about two to three times a week," said Filip Burget, head doctor of the Trauma Department at Prague's General University Hospital.

"These are mainly young people, often foreigners who want to try [riding scooters] on vacation, as well as people under the influence of alcohol who overestimate their abilities."

While many injuries involving e-scooters are minor scrapes and bruises, local hospitals are also reporting a high number of broken bones and other serious injuries. Because most riders do not wear helmets, head injuries can be life-threatening.

"At our hospital's surgical clinic, we have already encountered lacerated livers and broken ribs [resulting from e-scooter accidents]," said Eva Libigerová from Prague's Bulovka hosptial. "For these more serious injuries, the hospitalization time is up to 10 days, and the rehabilitation period is 2-3 months."

"The number of head and brain injuries and complex injuries as a result of a collision between [an electric scooter] and a motor vehicle is also increasing," says Hynek Fiala from the University Hospital in Ostrava.

"The incidence of these injuries greatly increases at night, when the operation of these scooters is affected by lighting conditions as well as the consumption of alcohol or other impairing substances."

While hospitals around the country report multiple cases of accidents involving e-scooters every day, the extent of the problem is not fully known because the Czech Republic does not separately track these incidents apart from other traffic accidents. Police intend to change this in the future.

"We do not statistically track traffic accidents involving electric scooters," Prague Police spokesperson Jan Rybanský told Právo, adding that a change is being prepared to enter these incidents as a new category of traffic accident.

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