E-scooters, like the ones that are rented by companies like Bird and Lime are popular, particularly in downtown areas and college campuses. They may present a cheap, easy mode of transportation when you don’t have far to go, but they also pose not-so-hidden dangers. Ever since the scooters started popping up in cities across the country a few years ago, injuries involving these scooters have also been on the rise. All of the scooter rental companies advise riders in their terms of service that a helmet is recommended, but none provide helmets for the riders. Few jurisdictions require an adult to wear a helmet by law. This may be a reason for the rise in injuries, particularly head injuries, as Reuters reports.
A new study has discovered that injuries that lead to hospitalizations and emergency room visits are on the rise. The culprits are the e-scooters that are popping up for rent in cities across America.
The most concerning thing about the injuries is that nearly a third of them are head injuries. While many people recover from head injuries, there is a small percentage of people who suffer from long-term disability and life changes. One of the biggest reasons for these injuries is that most riders do not wear helmets. Compounding the problem is that the decision to take an e-scooter is often a spur of the moment decision.
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In just the past four years, scooter injuries that need emergency care rose from 6 per 100,000 to 19 per 100,000. There were 14,651 estimated e-scooter related injuries in 2018. 4,658 involved the head. This is equal to 32%. Upper and lower extremity injuries also rose more than three times in 2018 from their rates in 2014.