Press fears Scooter Injury
A Sydney newspaper reports on how we as scooter riders need to protect ourselves from the serious nature of riding a scooter.
are being used as a headline grabber these days and the weekend press
thought the need to remind all of us scooter riders that danger could
be just around the corner.
This from the weekends Sydney Morning Herald,
Riders at risk without the leathers
SYDNEY'S love affair with scooters has a price, say doctors and
ambulance officers who are seeing a growing number of riders injured
because they don't wear protective clothing or full-face helmets.
There are more than 6200 scooters on NSW roads, including about 1870
registered last year alone, as motorists struggle to beat rising petrol
prices and Sydney's congested traffic. But experts fear riders are not
taking the dangers seriously.
"When people buy a scooter, they are in love with the image promoted by
advertisers, so you have plenty of young girls in short skirts and
heels riding around the streets," the chairman of the Motorcycle
Council of NSW, Guy Stanford, said. "Well, sorry, the crash statistics
say it's all the same, whether you're on a scooter or a motorcycle. If
you come off and you're not wearing protective gear, such as jackets
with body armour, gloves, boots and eyewear, you can find yourself …
inconvenienced for months."
Or dead, says the Roads and Traffic Authority, which points out
motorcycle riders are 16 to 20 times more likely to be killed in a road
accident than a car occupant.
Despite that, many scooter riders wear half-face helmets, which don't
protect the chin and teeth and rarely come with visors to protect the
eyes from common dangers, including insects and burning cigarettes
thrown from cars. Only 51 per cent of riders wear leather boots, which
can prevent fractured bones piercing the skin and infections from
gravel and grease on the road. Only 38 per cent wear motorcycle pants.
Mr Stanford, who believes half of all motorcycle injuries could be
reduced or prevented if people wore protective clothing, said cheaper
helmets, usually the half-face versions, were often heavier and put
extra stress on the neck and spine in an accident, while riders who
wore jackets without body armour were at risk of chipping bones in
their elbows or vertebrae.
The most common injuries from motorcycle falls or crashes included
fractured skulls, bruising and bleeding on the brain, compound
fractures of the leg and infections caused by gravel rash, but some
injuries were particular to fashion-conscious female scooter riders, an
emergency physician at St Vincent's Hospital, Fiona Chow, said
yesterday. "We had someone recently who was wearing a scarf which got
caught in the wheel of her scooter. She was OK, but if it had been tied
differently around her neck, she may been strangulated," Dr Chow said.
A spokeswoman for the NSW Ambulance Service said paramedics were seeing
more injuries from riders wearing inappropriate footwear.