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Photo: Jodi Robertson/AP

Scooter use is soaring in America's cities, with many riders finding out the hard way that cars are not good at sharing the road.

Why it matters: "[A] rough count by [AP] of media reports turned up at least 11 electric scooter rider deaths in the U.S. since the beginning of 2018. Nine were on rented scooters and two on ones the victims owned," the AP reports.

Between the lines: People aren't wearing helmets on these rented scooters, and the head injuries are piling up.

  • "Riders don’t want exposure to lice or germs that could be found in shared helmets, and many make a spontaneous decision to scoot while they’re already out and about."
  • "In Austin, Texas, public health officials ... counted 192 scooter-related injuries in three months in 2018. Nearly half were head injuries."
  • In Los Angeles, ER doctors "counted 249 scooter injuries [in 2018], and more than 40% were head injuries."

What's next: The scooter companies are taking actions to reduce risk.

  • "Bird ceased operations after midnight. Lime halts rentals overnight in some markets but in most its scooters are available all night."
  • "Lime has also been updating the design of its scooters, with a broader wheel base and better suspension and braking; Bird is including more durable brakes and reinforced hardware to prevent failures."

The bottom line: America's streets remain especially dangerous for people who aren't in a vehicle, and that's usually because of the vehicles.

Go deeper: Scooter companies' meteoric rise in one chart

Go deeper

Updated 4 hours ago - Sports

The potential GOAT of chess faces intriguing challenger

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The World Chess Championship between Norway's Magnus Carlsen and Russia's Ian Nepomniachtchi began on Friday, 1,094 days after Carlsen won his fourth consecutive title.

Why it matters: During the long, COVID-fueled layoff, chess entered a new era, and with the championship finally here, the age-old game is ready for its close-up.

Department of Interior proposes raising cost of drilling on public lands

A horizontal drilling rig and a pump jack sit on federal land in Lea County, New Mexico. Photo: Callaghan O'Hare/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Oil and gas companies should pay more to drill on federal lands and waters, the Department of the Interior argued in a report released Friday, saying that the current rates were "outdated."

Driving the news: The Department of Interior report said that the federal government's oil and gas leasing and permitting program "fails to provide a fair return to taxpayers, even before factoring in the resulting climate-related costs that must be borne by taxpayers."

5 hours ago - Health

U.S. to restrict air travel from 8 countries over new COVID variant concerns

A COVID-19 vaccine is administered. Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The U.S. will impose new air travel restrictions in response to the Omicron variant, a new COVID strain first detected in South Africa, President Biden announced Friday.

The big picture: Air travel from South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique and Malawi will be restricted starting on Monday.