Electric scooters have gained great popularity around the world as a simple and convenient transportation solution. However, research from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) has shown that scooters cause more injuries than bicycles, cars, and even motorcycles.
In 2019, the first study was conducted that examined in detail the types of injuries caused by scooters – usually fractures and head injuries that require emergency care. A 2020 study found that annual U.S. electric scooter injuries rose from 4,582 in 2014, before rentals, to 14,651 in 2018, when they became ubiquitous.
Nearly a third of these are head injuries, more than double that of cyclists. In 2021, scientists found that out of 397 emergency room patients in a year, only 19 were wearing helmets at the time of the accident. 25% of cases required surgical intervention. Overall, for every 100,000 trips, there are 20-25 emergency room visits.
The increase in injuries with the advent of a new mode of transport is logical. But what is the ratio of their number compared to other species? The UCLA team studied 1,354 outpatient cases of electric scooter accidents in Los Angeles from 2014 to 2020.
This figure also includes pedestrians hit or tripped over by scooters on sidewalks. The injury rate here was about 175-200 times higher than when traveling by car. Overall, 115 injuries per 1 million e-scooter rides, with 8 injuries per 1 million car rides, 15 injuries per 1 million bike rides, and 104 injuries per 1 million motorcycle rides.
The results are consistent with the 2021 study in Texas, where injury rates from scooters were 180 per 1 million miles (1,609,344 km), compared with 0.9 per 1 million miles for cars.
Of course, not all injuries are the same. Electric scooters can cause fatal damage, but they still don’t go as fast as motorcycles.
In addition, the study considered data only from UCLA medical clinics and did not include patients from other institutions, so the figures obtained may not reflect an objective picture and may even be underestimated.
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