It was painful. Thankfully a nice man at the restaurant I crashed in front of got me a napkin for my bloody hands, and the new Apple Watch I had been reviewing was vibrating like crazy, as its fall-detection sensor had accurately detected a fall and was attempting to call emergency services for me. I pulled the scooter onto the curb, stopped my watch, held onto the napkin, and completed the trip on the app. Skip’s app asked me if my trip was good or bad—I selected bad.

Skip responded very quickly to my tweet about the incident, refunded the ride, and pulled the scooter out of service. A member of the company’s safety team said their mechanics are checking to see what was wrong with the scooter, and that this was not a common occurrence. He offered to pay for the bandages I bought myself, and the jeans I ripped when falling. Skip was exceedingly helpful after the incident.

The next day.
The next day.
Image: Quartz/Matt Quinn

While it’s not great that Skip has potentially faulty vehicles out in the city (these things are abused by citizens near daily), the real issue here is that I didn’t just get off the scooter when I first noticed there was a problem. I wanted to get to where I was going and I thought I knew best. In the 24 hours I’ve been in the city, I’ve seen people riding scooters on the sidewalks, riding them the wrong way up streets, and even riding them with a second person on the back. Most have not been wearing helmets. Some people will always do dumb things if given the opportunity.

Hospitals in cities with dockless scooters have seen a rise in scooter-related incidents this year, and there has been at least one death as a result of someone riding a scooter. Los Angeles convicted a man for driving a Bird scooter while under the influence last month.

As scooters continue to proliferate into ever-more populated areas, cities are going to have to seriously evaluate how safe these devices funded by venture capitalists looking for a quick return really are, and whether they truly are the answer to gridlock and under-investment in public transportation infrastructure. Even when guidelines and safeguards are put in place, people will continue to make unwise decisions. Just look at me.

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