Three epidemiologists from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have been conducting a study of e-scooter accidents and injuries in Austin, Texas since December.
Austin city leaders asked for the investigation because of the high number of accidents and injuries in the city late last year – from September 5th to November 4th there were 258 people who went to the emergency room because of a scooter-related injury.
CDC investigators have contacted these individuals and are conducting more research to determine if the high rate of e-scooter injuries is unique to Austin or if it is consistent with what is happening in other cities. Researchers will calculate the number of injuries per number of scooters per mile traveled. Researchers will also ask about:
- Road conditions
- Street types
- Use of helmets
- Alcohol use while riding
There are approximately 14,000 dockless e-scooters in Austin, which has a population of nearly one million – another 1,200 may be on the streets when already-licensed operators have them ready for deployment. This may mean Austin has one of the highest citizen-to-scooter ratios in the nation. Other cities with a high ratio of scooters to citizens include Atlanta, San Diego, Nashville and Washington.
JAMA Study on Scooter Injuries
The findings from this e-scooter study could be released this month. However, this is not the first study of electric scooter injuries. In January, JAMA Network Open contained what people believe is the first published study about e-scooter accidents and injuries.
In this study, researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles studied 249 people who received treatment at the hospital over a period of one year. This included 228 people who were injured while riding scooters and 21 pedestrians.
Researchers found the majority of riders suffered an injury in a fall (80 percent), while 11 percent hit an object and nine percent were hit by a moving object or vehicle. Only four percent of riders in the study were wearing helmets, which may have put them less at-risk for injury.
E-Scooter Injuries in Nashville and Atlanta
According to Dr. Oscar Guillamondegui, the trauma ICU medical director at Nashville’s Vanderbilt University Medical Center, there are about five to six minor injuries each week from e-scooter accidents. This includes broken bones (fractures in the hand and arm) and scrapes and bumps to the face.
Each month, there are about one or two major traumatic brain injuries being treated in the trauma center, Dr. Guillamondegui said.
Meanwhile, in Atlanta per-month injuries from e-scooter accidents have increased from 30 to 100, according to Dr. Hany Atallah. He is the chief of emergency medicine at Grady Health System. He is also concerned about people riding e-scooters without helmets and on roads with a lot of traffic. The wheels are so small on these scooters that a pothole can knock the rider off the vehicle.
E-Scooters in Connecticut
E-scooters have popped up in cities around the country. In November, the University of Bridgeport unveiled 75 new e-scooters for use on the campus. The university is the first site in the state to have scooters made by the California-based company Bird. Local residents who are not students can also use these scooters.
That same month, the Hartford City Council considered a resolution to allow Lime to expand its e-scooter ridesharing program into the city. The majority leader of the council proposed a resolution allowing the city to enter into an exclusive agreement with Lime to provide bike-sharing and micro mobility services to the Hartford community.
Contact an Attorney to Discuss Your E-Scooter Injury
If you were injured while riding an e-scooter or someone else on an e-scooter caused you to suffer an injury while you were a pedestrian, you may have legal options.
Contact our New Haven personal injury lawyers today to discuss what happened and steps you may be able to take to pursue justice and fair compensation.