A student has told of a horror e-moped crash in Italy where she nearly lost her leg in a bid to warn others of the dangers.
Eleanor Young, 21, from Nettleham, near Lincoln, broke her right leg in two places and severed an artery when her e-moped was in a collision with a Smart Car.
Miss Young was on holiday in Rome when the crash happened in August 2020 and was taken to hospital where she spent five days in intensive care.
The modern languages student at Newcastle University, who also suffered dental fractures, was then transferred to an orthopaedic ward.
Eleanor Young, 21, (pictured), from Nettleham, near Lincoln, broke her right leg in two places and severed an artery when her e-moped was in a collision with a Smart Car while she was on holiday in Rome
Miss Young said: ‘Thankfully I can’t remember too much of the accident but I remember a few minutes later being on the ground and trying to get up. A passer-by told me not to and I immediately knew something was seriously wrong with my leg.
‘I was in that much shock that I couldn’t really feel much pain. I remember going to hospital and having an MRI scan but the next thing I remember was waking up in hospital the next day with rods in my legs and being told that they nearly had to amputate my leg.
‘Part of the bone in my leg had been shattered. I had an open compound fracture of my right tibia and severed an artery in my leg. I had two emergency surgeries abroad, one to save my leg and a second to put rods in to fix the bone together.’
Miss Young has had to have five more operations since coming home to the UK.
Operations have included removing and replacing metal rods, fixing a metal cage on it and re-positioning the bone so it will fuse properly.
Miss Young has had to have eight operations on her leg (pictured) including removing and replacing metal rods, fixing a metal cage on it and re-positioning the bone so it will fuse properly
Miss Young said: ‘Following the incident I’ve had to have a number of surgeries to fix my leg as it was deformed and I had non-union of the bone. It will never be the same again.
‘My life went from an ordinary one for someone my age to one that seemed to be medical appointment after medical appointment and further operations.’
The injuries she sustained meant she had to give up university for a year and move home for her parents to look after her.
The 21-year-old said: ‘The collision has affected my life in so many ways.
‘I was unable to properly get out of the house for months and I felt very alone.
‘Since August 2020 I’ve had eight surgeries on my leg and a surgical procedure in my mouth due to severe damage to my teeth.
‘A lot of people, particularly younger people think e-scooters and e-mopeds are fun.
‘However, like any vehicles they can lead to serious injuries.’
The 21-year-old and her legal team Irwin Mitchell are urging people to be careful on e-scooters and e-mopeds (stock image)
At the time of Miss Young’s crash in 2020, Italy was experiencing an influx in e-scooter and e-moped users, after people sought alternatives to crowded public transport due to the coronavirus.
Unfortunately, many injuries and accidents were reported across the country which were linked to e-scooter and e-moped use which included the death of a 13-year-old boy in Sesto San Giovanni, Northern Italy.
A 13-year-old boy died in an e-scooter crash in Sesto San Giovanni, Northern Italy.
The Italian highway code was updated on November 10 to increase e-scooter and e-moped safety in a bid to prevent further accidents and injuries.
E-scooter users cannot travel on pavements, maximum speed has decreased to 20km per hour on roads, those under 14 have to wear a helmet and those carrying passengers will receive a 50 euro fine.
The mode of transport remains popular in Italy, with 7.4 million rentals across the country in the past year.
Rome saw a sharp rise in e-scooter and e-moped use in 2020, after people sought alternatives to crowded public transport due to the coronavirus
Miss Young and her legal team Irwin Mitchell are urging people to be careful on e-scooters and e-mopeds.
Jayne Murphy, the specialist international serious injury lawyer at Irwin Mitchell representing Eleanor, said:
‘Eleanor suffered incredibly serious injuries in the collision and is lucky not to have lost her leg. The last 18 months or so and trying to come to terms with her injuries have been incredibly difficult.
‘While Eleanor has made progress in her recovery she still faces many challenges.
‘We’re now investigating the circumstances around Eleanor’s accident and are determined to support her through her recovery.’
People ride an electric scooter near the Colosseum in Rome, Italy, September 18, 2020
Miss Young’s story comes amid an influx in ambulance call-outs to e-scooter incidents in the UK- a rise of 540 per cent in just two years.
Incidents jumped from 75 in 2019 to 480 in the first eight months of 2021, according to Freedom of Information Request data.
Crashes have included riders injured while drunk, collisions with cars and pedestrians mowed down in the street.
Call-outs have jumped in the UK as e-scooters and e-mopeds have become increasingly popular.
But they can only be ridden on public roads in specific parts of the country.
These parts of the country have government backed trials which offer approved vehicles for rent.
E-scooters and e-mopeds have become increasingly popular across the UK (stock image)
E-scooters which people own can only be ridden on private land.
Over the last year, 131 UK pedestrians have been injured by e-scooters.
And in Gillingham, Kent, in June, a 13-year-old boy riding an e-scooter pulled into the path of a learner driver and was hit.
He was wearing earpods and did not hear the car coming so the driving instructor, Martin Philbrick, issued a warning to parents about the dangers of e-scooters.
In Gillingham, Kent, a 13-year-old boy (pictured) riding an e-scooter pulled into the path of a learner driver and was hit
There were 484 casualties involving e-scooters in 2020, more than one every day according to the Association of British Insurers (ABI).
Despite rules that e-scooters can only be ridden in public areas if they are part of government trials, More than Insurance data indicates that 83 per cent of people have seen them riding on the pavement.
Miss Young’s lawyers at Irwin Mitchell have issued advice to keep e-moped and e-scooter riders safe.
E-moped and E-scooters top five tips
1. Know the law
E-scooters can only be ridden on public roads in the UK in town and cities where government backed trials that offer approved vehicles for rent, are being held.
2. Do your research
If you’re hiring an e-scooter or e-moped as part of an approve trial insurance will be included within the rental. It is wise to check the level of cover and what you are and are not covered against.
If you are injured by an e-scooter or e-moped in an area which is participating in a pilot, there should be insurance which covers third party liability.
3. Wear protective equipment
Suitable clothing and safety equipment such as a helmet, mouth guard as well as knee and elbow pads can help reduce the risk of serious injury in case of an accident.
4. Check the tyres
Always assess a moped/scooter’s tyres, including their appearance and pressure before use.
5. Check the roads
Obstacles and road defects such as potholes can result in accidents. Always keep an eye out for such obstacles and avoid where possible, or if approaching a speed bump, slow down.