Injuries caused by electric scooters exceed those of motorcycles

Its appeal as a last-mile transportation solution in urban areas has resulted in a wide acceptance of electric scooters as alternative means of transportation in cities around the world. The pay per use scheme based on mobile applications makes it easy to get on and off them for any type of displacement. But all this comes at a cost to public health, and different studies are showing an increase in hospital admissions due to accidents with these vehicles. The last published suggests that they cause more injuries than bicycles, cars, and even motorcycles.

“There are millions of people riding these scooters today, so it’s more important than ever to understand their impact on public health,” said Dr. Joann Elmore, a professor of medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Elmore is part of a team investigating these impacts. In 2019 she was the director of a study showing that the types of injuries these vehicles cause are fractures and head injuries, which require treatment in hospital emergencies. Other subsequent studies have continued to highlight the dangers of this mode of transport.

A study published in 2020 by JAMA Surgery found that the annual incidence of injuries caused by electric scooters in the United States increased from 4,582 in 2014, before the appearance of minute rental companies, to 14,651 in 2018, when they had become much more common. Nearly a third of those were head injuries, more than double the rate suffered by cyclists, and annual hospitalizations rose from 313 to 1,374 during the same period.

The pay-per-use scheme based on mobile applications makes it easy to get on and off them for any type of displacement.

A article of 2021 Entitled “Electric Scooter-Related Injuries: A New Epidemic in Orthopedics,” it found that of 397 patients presenting to an emergency room over a 12-month period, only 19 were wearing a helmet at the time of the accident. 25% of cases required surgery. other report published in 2021 estimated that for every 100,000 electric scooter trips between 20 and 25 end in an emergency room visit.

It makes sense that the more riders electric scooters have, the more accidents will occur and the likelihood of serious injury increases as a result. But, How do your risks compare to other forms of transportation? A new study by Elmore and the team at UCLA and published in PLOS One magazine, has tried to answer this question. The study is based on analysis of the cases of the 1,354 people injured in electric scooter accidents between 2014 and 2020 who required outpatient treatment in the greater Los Angeles area. That figure included pedestrians hit or tripped over on sidewalks.

These data were crossed with municipal data on the use of electric scooters to calculate the incidence of injuries among users. The authors estimated the rate is 115 per million trips. Based on national injury rates, car travel causes 8 injuries, bicycles 15 injuries, and motorcycles 104 injuries per million trips. “It’s surprising that the injury rates for electric scooters are similar to those for motorcycles,” says Elmore.

fines electric scooters
The study is based on the analysis of the cases of the 1,354 people injured in accidents with electric scooters between 2014 and 2020.

This conclusion is consistent with that of another study published last year that compared the safety of electric scooters to motorized vehicles, focusing on injured passengers presenting to emergency departments in the state of Texas during 2018. It calculated an injury rate of 180 per million miles traveled, compared to the injury rate for motor vehicles in Texas at 0.9 per million miles traveled. “The injury rate from scooters based on observed vehicle miles traveled was approximately 175 to 200 times higher than the state or county-specific injury rates for motor vehicle trips,” the authors concluded.

Of courseNot all injuries are the same. Although electric scooters can cause serious injuries, they do not travel as fast as motorcycles. The scientists were unable to draw any conclusions about comparative severity, but because the study only included data from UCLA-associated health clinics and did not involve patients treated at other facilities, they believe their figures regarding injury rates they are an understatement. “It’s important to note that injuries due to electric scooters may be less severe and less fatal than motorcycle injuries, but we continue to believe our electric scooter injury rate is underestimated,” said study first author Dr. Kimon Loannides.

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