Electric scooters have become a more common sight on the sidewalks and streets of American cities. There are many pros to the use of electric scooters. Namely, they help decrease traffic congestion and they increase the likelihood that people will use public transportation.
However, electric scooters are very dangerous. According to a study in the JAMA Network, there was a huge increase in hospital admissions related to electric scooter accidents between 2017 and 2018.
What are the facts?
According to the study, persons between the ages of 18 and 34 years were the most injured group. Between the years 2017 and 2018, there was an incredible 354% increase in hospitalizations for this age group concerning electric scooter accidents. Functionally, this means that the rate of e-scooter trauma-related calls nearly doubled.
Even more concerning, one-third of electric scooter injury patients had a head injury. This is more than double the rate of head injuries that bicyclists experience. It is clear that there is a need for increased regulation of electric scooters.
What can help these numbers?
Many of these injuries are preventable. One particular statistic of Interest states that in 2019, only 4.8% of electric scooter riders with injuries wore a helmet. Another study shows that only 2% of electric scooter riders wear helmets regularly. It is likely that if electric scooter companies facilitate and encourage helmet use that some of these injury numbers may go down.
The studies also noted that it is possible that the incident of injuries related to electric scooter use are actually severely unreported. Many of these studies also lacked information about whether or not alcohol consumption was a factor in these accidents.