“If you hit your head at a speed of 20 km/h yes you have loss of consciousness or amnesia. At 25 km / h the skull does fracture and brain injuries are caused. The helmet is for everyone, not just for minors. And scooters, as they are, are risky ”. Andrea Costanzo, professor of orthopedics e traumatology at La Sapienza University and president of Socitras, the Italian Society of Road Traumatology, has no doubts on this point. “Like other electric vehicles they have the problem of silence: you save yourself from bikes or motorbikes because you can hear them, but not from scooters ”. They are potentially dangerous for both pedestrians and those who drive them. Here because Lombardy region has recently approved a law to be submitted to Parliament which aims to change some aspects. It is divided into three points: prohibition of driving for minors, compulsory helmet extended to all and civil insurance towards third parties. The recent news – with two fatal episodes in the last few weeks – and the data provided by theRegional emergency urgency agency (Areu) confirm the alarm. They have been counting since June 2020 659 requests relief in Milan alone. About one accident a day. “In the course of my lessons I always give the example of Serse Coppi, brother of Fausto. He died from the after-effects of a fall that didn’t even seem serious: he hit his head during a race. Accidents resulting from this type of mobility can be heavier than they appear to be protections I’m necessary“, Costanzo continues.
PEDESTRIAN AND CYCLIST – The scooter rider, says Costanzo, is subject to a double type of trauma: from pedestrian and yes cyclist. “In both cases he risks limb fractures and abdominal injuries, depending on what the impact is front O lateral. The accidents that can occur are the collision, the investment with loading or, worse, therotation. That is, the passage of the wheels of the car on the pedestrian itself ”, explains the president Socitras. “The car can brake, but there is always a sliding phase of the car”. The most serious risk faced by the scooter rider (if considered as a pedestrian) is the head injury: “You have to worry if it hits the head where the i is wipers, between the windshield and the hood. The risk becomes fatal ”. As for cyclist trauma, the side crash: “That is the side impact. But falls and slips are also dangerous. If a cyclist leans sideways and hits his head from a standstill he reaches an average speed of 20 km / h. Let’s imagine when it runs “.
TOOLS FOR IMPROVING SAFETY – Lights, helmet and license they are the triad to start from (or to aim for) to use this medium safely. Reflective jackets to be used not only in the evening, explains Costanzo, but already at sunset. “And the lights, more than one, should be placed on the tip of the handlebar. When the brightness drops whoever drives the scooter must become recognizable as a silhouette“. The helmet, currently mandatory only for minors, should be extended to everyone. “Whole wheat or in any case able to protect the naked“, Explains the president Socitras. The license it is useful because knowledge of the highway code is often lacking: “Usually you learn to ride a bike calmly, perhaps as a child. To take the scooter instead you need a license, with consequent training. And the scooter? Minors who use it where did they learn the rules?“. As for speed, Costanzo continues, it should reach a maximum of 15 or 20 km/h. It would also be important to correct some general aspects of the road world. “The improvement of road safety it is the result of several factors. First of all, and there is nothing to be done about this, there speed reduction. Then the redesign of the road space itself. Traffic calming. Vehicle traffic controls. And finally, detectors and sensors: those who run where they cannot do so must be fined ”.
IN THE WORLD – Costanzo quotes Helsinki, capital of Finland. The city has progressively decreased the speed of cars since the 1970s. Now the limit is 30 km/h, 40 for the most scrolling areas. Result: in the 1960s, about 40 pedestrians a year died in road accidents. Today the number has shrunk to quattrodespite the fact that car traffic has almost tripled. “In the country they are very committed to formation. For example, they teach immigrants who don’t know how to ride a bicycle. The program is called Immigrants on bike ”, concludes Costanzo. A way to spread knowledge about the road universe. What about pedestrians walking by looking at the phone? “They are simply wrong. It comes to mind Shanghai, in China, which for some years has set up a special ward ”. Is called cellphone lane. It is difficult to hypothesize whether a solution like this is also applicable in Italy. Meanwhile, the scooters run, always fast and always silent.