Zipping down city streets on an e-scooter has a certain romance to it. It’s an adventure that can take you back to less complicated times, when you were a kid on a bicycle with the wind whipping through your hair.
Unfortunately, this activity comes with some risk. As kids, many of us have taken tumbles on our childhood scooters, and falls are just as likely when riding as an adult. Technology can solve many problems, but we haven’t yet figured out how to create a scooter that can prevent its rider from taking a spill.
And the spills keep on coming. A Consumer Reports study estimates that 1,500 people have been injured nationwide in e-scooter accidents since late 2017. These injuries can sometimes be quite serious, involving things like concussions and bone fractures.
Thus far, there hasn’t been a major, in-depth study of scooter-related accidents, but that’s about to change. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has launched the first-ever study of e-scooter injuries.
Cause and Effect
The study will analyze data gathered in Austin, Texas. With assistance from Austin health officials, the CDC will be taking a close look at severe e-scooter injuries that took place in the city between September and November of 2017.
According to CNBC reporting, the study aims to shine a spotlight on the risk factors associated with e-scooter injuries. The study will also take a look at injury severity, and it aims to provide insight into why riders are getting hurt.
Thus far, the data seems to suggest that some of the preconceived notions riders have about e-scooter accidents are incorrect. For example, what do you think causes most e-scooter injuries? Many people would list vehicle collisions as the culprit. But the data doesn’t support that assertion.
The study makes the following recommendations for e-scooter riders:
- Always wear a helmet
- Limit riders to one per scooter
- Switch footwear from heels to flats when riding
A full list of CDC recommendations is expected to be released sometime this spring. Scooter companies such as Bird and Lime have given the study their full support.
Urban dwellers love their e-scooters, and this isn’t likely to change anytime soon. More research needs to be done on making this type of travel safer. The CDC study is a step in the right direction.