New study: Electric scooter injuries tripled in the U.S. with a high risk of head trauma and broken bones
Nearly 40,000 broken bones, head trauma and other electric scooter crash injuries were treated in United States emergency rooms from 2014-2018. The figures were revealed in a newly released study.
The scooter injury rate among the general population climbed in that time from 6 per 100,000 to 19 per 100,000, according to the Associated Press.
Researchers at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) conducted the study. It found that electric scooter injuries have tripled across the nation. It was published in JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association) Surgery.
Electric scooters, or e-scooters, are a popular way to get around. Nearly a third of the riders who had injuries suffered head trauma. That's more than twice the rate of head injuries to cyclists. That’s probably because fewer scooter users wear helmets, according to the Daily Mail.
Electric scooter injuries facts and figures
The number of e-scooter-related injuries and hospital admissions soared by 222 percent between 2014-2018, with 39,000 injuries recorded.
Most of the injuries occurred in riders between the ages of 18-34.
A separate study by Rutgers University showed that the number of face and head injuries from riding electric scooters tripled over the past decade, according to healthline.com.
The study comes on the heels of complaints about the devices in California. The problem there is the supposedly accepted practice of discarding on streets, sidewalks and other public spaces of e-scooters rented via a smartphone app.
The UCSF researchers analyzed U.S. government data on nonfatal injuries treated in emergency rooms in relation to e-scooters. They used data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System, which is part of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
“Improved rider safety measures and regulation” are clearly needed, the researchers said.
Media reports have linked e-scooters with more than a dozen U.S. deaths within the past few years.
“Scooters promote active commuting, could help spur wider public transit use and could lead to less traffic congestion," said Benjamin N. Breyer, lead author of the study. “We hope to raise awareness that riders should wear helmets and ride safely.”
Nikan Namiri, a UCSF student and part of the research team, said studies have shown that wearing a helmet lowers the risk of head injury. E-scooter manufacturers should encourage helmet use by making them more accessible, Namiri said.
Researchers in the study found the most common injuries were fractures (27 percent), bruises (23 percent) and cuts (14 percent).
Supporters, including E-Scooter company Bird, said benefits of the devices include:
- They offer options in dense cities by providing mobility that avoids using cars and trucks.
- The E-Scooters are convenient, sustainable and reliable mobility options.
- By occupying less of the roadway, the E-Scooters help in reducing traffic congestion.
- They’re light enough to lift and carry.
Contact David J. Glatthorn Personal Injury Law in Florida today for help with electric-scooter-related injuries and for help with car and truck crashes.