Electric scooters have gained popularity in recent years, but that has also meant an uptick in related injuries.
Researchers from the Henry Ford Health System found that not only are e-scooter injuries becoming more common, but the rate of head and neck injuries is rising at a much faster rate. The team hopes these findings encourage more consumers to adopt safety precautions when boarding an e-scooter.
“Since e-scooters became a popular form of transportation in major cities, the number of injuries jumped significantly because they’ve become more available to more people,” said researcher Dr. Kathleen Yaremchuk.
The rise of e-scooter injuries
For the study, the researchers analyzed e-scooter-related injury data reported to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission over the course of more than 10 years. The study showed that there were more than 100,000 injuries recorded during that time.
E-scooters have become very popular because they’re convenient and aren’t that expensive. However, those benefits have also led to more injuries since more people are trying them out without taking proper precautions. Ultimately, head and neck injuries comprised nearly 30% of all e-scooter injuries; internal organ damage, lacerations, and abrasions topped the list of the most common head and neck issues.
“As a physician, I would recommend that people who use this mode of transportation wear a helmet and apply the same approach as when driving a car,” said researcher Dr. Samantha Tam.
Moving forward, the researchers hope that consumers use e-scooters more cautiously. Paying close attention to potential hazards like lampposts or street signs and wearing helmets can reduce the number of e-scooter-related injuries and help keep consumers safe during rides.
“We hope our findings will help educate users of rideshare e-scooters about the potential for serious head and neck injuries and the safety precautions they should take,” said Dr. Yaremchuk.