Study shows surge of emergency room visits since introduction of rideshare e-scooters — ScienceDaily
A Henry Ford Health System physician is sounding the alarm on the rising number of injuries caused from riding electric scooters, calling it a growing public health concern.
In a study of e-scooter injuries, Kathleen Yaremchuk, M.D., chair of the Department of Otolaryngology — Head and Neck Surgery, says a review of emergency visits in the last three years shows e-scooter injuries have increased significantly with many of them related to head and neck injuries. The study describes how the types of injuries which include concussions, fractures, contusions and abrasions, lacerations and internal organ injuries have changed since the introduction of e-scooter rideshare systems to the public in September 2017.
The study’s break down on the type of injuries shows that head and neck injuries made up nearly 28% of the total injuries. Results were also broken down by age groups and showed that from 2009 to 2017, patients who were 17 years old or younger made up the most injured age group. After 2017, the demographic of 18-to-44-year-olds became the most injured age group, which suggests that e-scooter injuries occur predominantly with older users.
“I’ve seen riders not wearing helmets, two or three riders on one e-scooter recklessly weaving in and out of traffic. The numbers of injuries we’re seeing should be a wake-up call about the safety risks of riding these modes of transportation,” says Dr. Yaremchuk, the study’s senior author.
Results of Henry Ford’s retrospective study were presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Otolaryngology.
The Henry Ford research team found that since the introduction of rideshare e-scooters, motorized vehicles that can reach speeds of up to 35 miles per hour, injuries have increased as more people gravitate to the inexpensive and convenient form of transportation used mostly in crowded urban centers.