As the electric scooter trend continues to rise, so do the not-so-surprising injuries. Powered scooters have seemingly taken over congested metropolitan streets and pedestrian walkways, posing the question that some may wonder: is this modern mode of transportation causing more harm than good?
A recent UC San Francisco study has found that the number of scooter-related injuries in the United States has spiked tremendously by 222 percent between 2014 and 2018 to roughly 40,000 injuries, particularly among young adults, and the number of hospital admissions increased by 365 percent to nearly 3,300. The same study also found that nearly a third of these injuries were head trauma, which is more than twice the rate of head injuries to bicyclists.
Should E-Scooter Manufacturers Encourage the Use of Helmets?
Health officials and medical experts across the country have become increasingly concerned by the number of fractures, dislocations and head injuries appearing in trauma centers – and although e-scooters are a fast and convenient form of transportation, the high proportion of people with head injuries indicates that there should be better safety measures and regulations for riders.
With regulatory oversight being almost non-existent, there is nothing that states where people can ride scooters and whether helmets are mandatory. The authors of the study also noted that the actual incidence of e-scooter trauma may be underestimated because cases with unclear scooter specifications were excluded from the study, as well as some riders likely not going to the emergency department despite their injuries.