The use of electronic motorized scooters (“e-scooters”) has increased dramatically since their release in 2017, but so has the number of riders who have been seriously injured or killed.
In one study, researchers looked at 103 people who were hospitalized with e-scooter injuries, and found that 98% of them were not wearing helmets.
The injuries were frequently severe, with 51% of people suffering brain bleeding or broken bones that needed surgery when they were hospitalized with e-scooter injuries.
Alcohol, illicit drug use, and failing to wear helmets was a common factor behind many of the e-scooter accidents.
About 40% of the patients had a blood-alcohol level over the legal driving limit of 0.08 at the time of their accident.
Furthermore, half of the patients tested positive for illicit drugs. The most common drug was THC (a primary substance in marijuana), followed by methamphetamine.
The most common injury was broken bones in the arms and legs, followed by facial fractures and brain bleeding. One-third of the patients required surgical interventions, mostly to fix broken bones.
The researchers warned that e-scooter injuries have significantly increased since 2017, calling it an “e-merging e-pidemic of e-scooters.” Alcohol and illicit drug-use among these patients was common, and helmet use was extremely rare.
The study was published in Trauma Surgery & Acute Care Open by researchers at the University of California San Diego (UCSD), Scripps Mercy Hospital in San Diego, and Dell Seton Medical Center in Austin, Texas.
Source: Alcohol, drugs, and helmets at the heart of electric scooter accidents in the U.S.