San Francisco, Jan 9 (IANS) E-scooters may have become popular as more people are becoming aware of its benefits and convenience, but there has been a major surge in incidents of injuries related to scooters, particularly among young adults in the US.
According to a University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) study, electric scooter-related injuries in the US jumped 222 per cent between 2014 and 2018, with over 39,000 people injuring themselves.
The number of hospital admissions soared by 365 per cent to a total of nearly 3,300, according to the UCSF study.
“E-scooters are a fast and convenient form of transportation and help to lessen traffic congestion, especially in dense, high-traffic areas,” Benjamin N. Breyer, MD, a UCSF Health urologist and corresponding author, said in a statement.
The rise in the spate of such incidents was also due to the lack of helmets; almost a third of injuries involved some kind of head trauma.
Nearly a third of the patients suffered head trauma — more than twice the rate of head injuries to bicyclists.
About a third of the e-scooter injuries were to women, and people between the ages of 18 and 34 were the most often injured for the first time in 2018.
“But we’re very concerned about the significant increase in injuries and hospital admissions that we documented, particularly during the last year, and especially with young people, where the proportion of hospital admissions increased 354 per cent,” Breyer added.
The UCSF team had previously looked at bicycle injuries using the same data set and found scooter riders had a higher proportion of head injuries, which was also identified in this study.
Motorised scooters have become more ubiquitous in the last few years, particularly within the US’ biggest cities and suburbs, health officials and medical experts across the country grew increasingly alarmed by the number of fractures, dislocations and head injuries appearing in trauma centres.
Regulatory oversight is largely absent about where people can ride scooters and whether helmets are mandatory: Previous research showed that only a fraction of injured e-scooter riders (ranging from 2 per cent to about 5 per cent) wore helmets when they were hurt.