A new study out of the University of California, San Francisco suggests e-scooter injury cases have risen dramatically over the past few years. According to the latest stats, the number of e-scooter injury patients requiring hospitalization rose over 360 percent between 2014 and 2018.
For this latest study, UCSF researchers looked into data from 100 American ER departments from 2014 to 2018. Study authors say their study was designed to give an overall picture of e-scooter injuries in the USA.
In total, scientists found there were about 40,000 e-scooter injury cases in the clinics they tracked. Back in 2014, the average rate of e-scooter injuries was only about 6 per 100,000 people. That number increased to 19 per 100,000 when researchers looked into 2018.
At 27 percent, fractures were the most common issue these e-scooter patients had. Other common injuries included contusions, lacerations, and abrasions.
While this increase in injuries is correlated with increased e-scooter availability, study authors also cite a lack of helmet compliance as a potential contributing factor. This theory supports findings from other high profile studies investigating e-scooter injuries. As of January 1, 2019, helmets are not required in California.
For instance, a recent CDC study found only one percent of e-scooter patients with head injuries were wearing a helmet at the time of their crash. A UCLA investigation showed only about 4 percent of e-scooter injury patients wore head protection.
Another reason for this rise in e-scooter-related injuries might have to do with poor city infrastructure. Researchers suggest adding more protected bike lanes might reduce e-scooter-related crashes, especially in urban areas.
Anyone interested in learning more about San Francisco’s e-scooter program should visit this SFMTA webpage.