Researchers recommend better rider safety measures and regulation for electronic scooters (e-scooters) to increase helmet use and reduce injury rates.

University researchers find a 222 percent increase in the number of scooter related injuries and hospital admissions between 2014 and 2018.

Date Posted

Urban Health Scare: E-Scooters Show Alarming Spike in Injuries

Summary Information

Electric scooters (e-scooters) such as Bird and Lime scooters are an increasingly popular mode of transportation. However, almost immediately after their advent, public health officials, planners, and transportation safety advocates raised concerns about their safety. However, due to their newness little longitudinal safety data has previously been available.

A team at the University of California San Francisco gathered four years (2014-2018) of e-scooter injury rate data from across the US. The team analyzed both the rate of e-scooter injuries over time and their geographic distribution in the US.

  • About 40,000 e-scooter injuries occurred between 2014 and 2018.
  • Nearly 80 percent of e-scooter hospital admissions occurred in urban areas.
  • E-scooter injury rates increased by 222 percent between 2014 and 2018.
  • Fractures, contusions and abrasions, and lacerations were the most common injuries.

Lessons Learned

Researchers recommended better rider safety measures and regulations, such as increased helmet use to reduce injury rates.

  • E-scooter manufacturers should encourage helmet use by making them more easily accessible.
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