Nearly 40K injured nationwide while riding e-scooters: UCSF research

Bay Area

SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — Electric scooters have become a commonplace on the streets of San Francisco in recent years — but according to new research from the University of California, San Francisco, the number of people getting hurt while riding scooters is rising at an “alarming” rate.

Nearly 40,000 people were injured while riding electric scooters during a four-year period in cities across the U.S., according to the research released Wednesday by UCSF.

The research shows the number of those who were admitted to the hospital due to a scooter-related injury has quadrupled in the last four years.

A third of the injured suffered head trauma.

The UCSF study showed only 2 to 5 percent of those injured on the e-scooters were wearing helmets.

“It’s been shown that helmet use is associated with a lower risk of head injury,” said first author Nikan K. Namiri, medical student at the UCSF School of Medicine. “We strongly believe that helmets should be worn, and e-scooter manufacturers should encourage helmet use by making them more easily accessible.”  

The most common injuries were lacerations, abrasions, contusions and fractures.

In October, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency approved permits for four electric scooter operators in the city — Scoot, Jump, Lime and Spin.

Jump, Lime and Spin currently operate 750 scoots in San Francisco, but that number will soon increase to 1,000 in February, according to the SFMTA.

Scoot operates 1,000 scooters in the city.

In the UCSF study, researchers say oversight on electric scooters is mainly absent as far as where people can ride and whether they have to wear helmets.

Nineteen scooter riders for every 100,000 were injured in 2018 — that number up from six in 2014, the research showed.

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