As scooters gain popularity, injuries pile up

Most who are injured just fall off, small study says — and 40 percent suffer head injuries

There is no such thing as transportation without risks. Some forms are riskier than others, but they all have hazards, including the most recent transportation trend, shared scooters.

Bloomberg recently highlighted a small-sample study in California from JAMA Network about the types of injuries that have resulted from the massive uptick in scooter usage. The report found that fewer than 5 percent of people who rode the scooters wore helmets (it's not required in Cali), and many riders admitted to ignoring traffic rules.

The survey found that more than 80 percent of the patients had simply fallen off the scooters (11 percent hit something), and that resulted in about 40 percent of the patients suffering head injuries. Furthermore, 32 percent suffered broken bones.

The sample was limited, only looking at 249 patients from two Southern California emergency rooms between September 2017 and August 2018. It is important to note, however, that there is no mention of whether these were first-time users, how often they rode, or how long their rides were. The demographics of the survey could easily change with a bigger sample size, but this study found that the riders were about 34 years old on average and that 58 percent of the patients were male.

Averting the subject, a quote from one of the more popular scooter brands, Bird, tried to disqualify the study saying it was "very limited" and "fails to take into account the sheer number of e-scooter trips taken." That's not necessarily wrong, but the study didn't try to hide the fact of its limited scope either.

Bloomberg goes on to discuss the consequences of these types of injuries and the expected legal complications that come with them. See how the sentence, "You may not know who the rider is if there's a 'scoot-and-run' situation" fits into all this by reading the full story on Bloomberg.

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