The scooters have swarmed cities this past year, with companies like Bird and Lime aggressively expanding across the United States.
Head injuries, fractures, cuts and bruises: Those are some of the injuries that more than 200 riders of electric scooters — and those who were accidentally hit by or tripped over them — experienced over a year in two hospitals in Southern California.
The study found 249 people were seen following electric scooter accidents at the two emergency departments participating in the one-year study. The majority of the people injured — 92% — were riders themselves, and only 4% of riders wore helmets. But the group also included pedestrians who were struck by scooter riders or who stumbled over a discarded scooter.
The top two scooter companies, Bird and Lime, give riders tips on how to be safe and recommend wearing helmets. But they don’t require helmet use. Both companies have said they’re committed to safety and public education.
Dr. Tarak Trivedi, the lead author of the study, is an electric scooter rider himself. As a physician, he once took care of a patient with a dislocated shoulder following an electric scooter accident at the same intersection he crossed on his way to work.
“If I were to have one of these injuries, I’d be out of commission for a while,” said Trivedi, an emergency medicine physician at the University of California, Los Angeles and a fellow with the National Clinician Scholars Program.
Forty percent of those injured experienced head injuries, 32% experienced fractures, and 27% had cuts, bruises and sprains. Most people were treated and released, but 15 required overnight stays in the hospital and two required admission to the intensive care unit.
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