Even if you don't get out much, chances are you've seen the latest transportation trend: those ubiquitous silver scooters made by companies like Razor. In fact, you may well have had the hair-raising experience of seeing a child--or a middle-aged man--barreling toward you on one, only narrowly avoiding collision moments later. Still, it might come as a surprise to learn just how dangerous these little foot-operated vehicles can be, especially if proper precautions are not taken. According to Tara Dortch of the University of Alabama's Think First Injury Prevention Program, scooter-related emergency room visits have increased by 700 percent since spring. "The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission says that there have been more than 4,000 scooter-related injuries in August alone," she observes. "Riders need to protect themselves with the same gear worn by in-line skaters: a helmet that covers the brain stem, and knee and elbow pads." Dortch also notes that kids should "stay out of the street" and not ride at night.