The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) staff participates on the ASTM F15.58 Powered Scooters and Skateboards subcommittee, providing technical support for the development of new safety standards for electric- and gas-powered scooters.
CPSC staff conducted a special study of emergency room treated injuries associated with powered scooters; the study covered incidents that occurred during the period July 1, 2003, through June 30, 2004. During the study period, an estimated 10,015 emergency room-treated injuries were determined to be powered scooter related. Of the 10,015 injuries, two thirds of the injured persons were under 15 years of age and about 60% were male. Fewer than half the victims were wearing helmets at the time of the injury, and few were wearing any other safety equipment.
The CPSC staff special study also identified hazard patterns. The two most prevalent hazard patterns were (1) operator contributed to the incident (about 36% of the injuries), and (2) environment contributed to the incident (about 35% of the injuries). The scooter directly contributed to the incident in about 20% of the injuries. Examples of scenarios included in this pattern were: brake failed to engage, victim was cut on a sharp edge, front wheel was wobbling prior to the incident, handle bar came loose/detached, and victim was burned from touching a hot part of a gas-powered scooter.
The ASTM subcommittee is developing a draft Standard Specification for Safety Instructions and Labeling for Recreational Powered Scooters and Pocket Bikes and a draft Standard Consumer Safety Specification for Recreational Powered Scooters and Pocket Bikes. The draft standards include safety and performance requirements for load, braking and power.