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Your Healthy Family: Electric scooter use leads to rise in injuries, study says

Posted at 11:40 AM, Aug 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-12 13:40:35-04

CLEVELAND, OHIO — Electric scooters, or ‘e-scooters,’ have been popping up around metropolitan areas for a few years.

Now, a recent study looks at whether an increase in scooter popularity also means an increase in people landing in the emergency department after using them.

The study looked at data on people visiting emergency departments for electric scooter injuries from 2014-2018.

“The study looked at the rates of injuries from electric scooters, and found that the rate of injuries nearly tripled in the last four years,” said Tom Waters, M.D., of Cleveland Clinic, who did not take part in the study.

Results show that people were most likely to injure their heads, and upper and lower extremities.

The most common types of injuries were fractures, contusions, abrasions and lacerations.

In the time period studied, the number of e-scooter injuries increased by 222 percent, while hospital admission increased by 365 percent.

Dr. Waters said it’s best to make sure the person operating an electric scooter has a driver’s license, knows the rules of the road, and adheres to safety precautions.

“Make sure that the area around you is clear; you’re watching traffic; for pedestrians, and I would also highly advise against operating these when you’re under the influence,” he said.

Dr. Waters said many people might think an electric scooter is harmless, but this study shows us injuries can happen.

“Electric scooters are a convenient and efficient mode of transportation, but just like any mode of transportation, you need to take some precautions,” he said. “They go faster than you think, and you need to be careful when you’re riding them.”

Complete results of the study can be found in JAMA Surgery.