E-scooter crashes on the rise in NYC, with bystanders the ones getting injured

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- 7 On your Side Investigates uncovered a new disturbing trend -- e-scooter accidents are on the rise in the New York City area, and oftentimes, it's not the scooter driver who's the one getting injured.

As part of a push to cut down on car traffic, more electric powered scooters are popping up across the area. While they may be making things more convenient, they can also be dangerous.

Dr. Ian Tang's body is still healing after he was knocked unconscious by a standup e-scooter rider two weeks ago. His arms, elbows and legs are marked with scabs and bruises.

"I feel violated," he said. "It hurts to take a deep breath, but luckily I didn't die."

It happened in Riverside Park, where electric scooters aren't even allowed. But 7 On Your Side Investigates found it's not stopping people.

You can search for electric scooter crashes -- and the causes of those crashes -- in your neighborhood here:

On the Hudson River Greenway, we counted two dozen e-scooters in just 20 minutes, even though signs are posted along the route prohibiting them.

They are allowed in bicycle lanes and in streets where the speed limit is 30 miles per hour or less.

"The reality is everybody knows the law is not being enforced," Dr. Tang said.

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Since 2020, there have been 588 e-scooter accidents in New York City, with a total of 538 people injured in those accidents and at least three pedestrian deaths.

"These scooters are getting faster and more powerful, and everybody knows speed kills," Dr. Tang said.

Many worry it's only going to get worse, and next month, the city's launching a pilot program in the Bronx.

Three different scooter companies will be renting out electric ride share scooters throughout the area, similar to who people can rent bicycles.

If it goes well, they could be rolled out citywide.

"People don't have to use their cars," said City Councilman Fernando Cabrera, who helped make them a reality. "It's an easy mode of transportation and environmentally friendly."

Cabrera believes it will with help congestion and give people who aren't close to public transportation or don't have a vehicle a new way to commute.

"That's why this pilot program is so important to figure out best practices," he said.

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However, Dr. Sarah Jamison, an emergency room doctor at St. Barnabas Hospital in the Bronx, is urging people to think twice before using one.

"It's just extremely dangerous," she said. "You absolutely should have on a helmet. You must protect your head because that's where we see so much injury and so many fatal accidents."

ABC data journalist Frank Esposito contributed to this story.

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