Wearing a helmet is only a recommendation. | Gemma Marchena


In 2020, when there was confinement for a period of time because of the pandemic, the Balearic health emergency service dealt with 258 people who had been involved in an electric scooter accident. In 2021, the number rose to around 400, and last year it shot up to 696.

A campaign to try and ensure that scooters aren't used in spaces intended for pedestrians has been started by a Palma woman, María Fuster, who was knocked down and seriously injured by a scooter. However, of the almost 700 people involved in accidents in 2022, only 18% were as a result of being run over. The medical director of SAMU061, Dr. Txema Álvarez, says that the most common cause is because people have fallen off a scooter or have, for example, hit a lamppost. These can be "high-energy impacts because they are going at high speeds".

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In 54% of cases in 2022, people suffered damage to limbs, while 31% suffered a head injury. "Wearing a helmet continues to be a recommendation, not a requirement", notes Dr. Álvarez. Two patients last year ended up in wheelchairs.

The doctor also points out that five per cent of patients taken into intensive care have drug or alcohol poisoning. "They feel more immune to being stopped by a police control. Then there is the fact that scooters are sold as being recreational."

A particularly troubling development concerns the age of patients. The greatest increase in the number of accidents relates to ages 10 to 20. But the legal age for riding an electric scooter is 16.