Although standing electric scooters provide a new convenient way to get around cities, a new study finds that the use of these vehicles presents a potential public health issue as their use and popularity increase. The study shows that this electric scooter use is associated with several types of injuries, which include fractures, dislocated joints, and head trauma. The findings of the study are published in the journal JAMA Network Open.
Nearly 250 patients ended up at two Southern California emergency departments with injuries associated with standing electric scooter use, and few riders were wearing helmets.
‘A new study finds that more people were injured while driving standing electric scooters than by riding bicycles or traveling on foot.’
This observational study used medical record review to examine injuries associated with standing electric scooter use over one year; 228 patients were injured as riders and 21 as nonriders. Nearly 11 percent of riders were younger than 18, and only about 4 percent of riders were documented as wearing helmets.
Fractures, head injuries, and soft-tissue injuries were the most common. Nearly all patients were discharged from the emergency department, but 15 were admitted, including two with severe head injuries.
The authors suggest their findings may help to inform public policy around standing electric scooter use, a growing and cheap mode of transportation.