Electric scooters are becoming pretty much the next big thing. First, it was those Razor scooters, then the hoverboard, and now electric scooters are having their time in the sun. They are even getting so popular that many major cities are incorporating them into their ride share programs. While the idea obviously seems pretty cool, scooting from place to place, newer technology always has a learning curve and this time it's sending people to the emergency room - especially those who refuse to wear helmets.
A new study, published in HealthDay, has revealed that while these electric scooters are all the rage right now, they are resulting in lots of injuries. We're talking more injuries than you probably think.
The study revealed that in two Southern California emergency departments, nearly 250 people were seen for injuries linked to electric scooters in a single year, researchers found. That's a lot of people.
The studies senior author, Dr. Joann Elmore, a professor of medicine at UCLA's David Geffen School of Medicine noted that these injuries are a new phenomenon, so something that hospitals haven't seen until recently.
After examining that data that the emergency rooms provided, researchers looked at accidents associated with standup electric scooters over a one year period. The study's abstract explained that a total of 249 patients went to the emergency departments with injuries from electric scooters in 12 months. Of those 249 patients, 228 were injured as riders and 21 as non-riders.
It was also reported that 10.8 percent of riders were younger than 18 years of age. While some minors are allowed access to electric scooters, California law does state that riders need to be at least 16 years of age and have a driver's license or permit. (Looks like there is a good reason for that.) Additionally, some companies have set even stricter guidelines where riders need to be 10 years old.
If you are curious about the injuries that were sustained that the study looked into, only 2 had severe head injuries and only 15 were admitted to the hospital. Beyond that, the most common injuries recorded were fractures, head injuries, and soft-tissue injuries.
The biggest takeaway with this report, though, is the fact that only 4.4 percent of these electric scooter riders were documented as wearing a helmet. This is a huge deal. Think about it: these electric scooter riders share the road with major motor vehicles. The first thing they should be thinking about is wearing a helmet.
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