Scooter Injuries Are the Latest 'Urban Health Scare,' a New Report Suggests

Electric scooter injuries have surged along with their popularity in the United States, almost tripling over four years, researchers said in a study published Wednesday.

From 2014 to 2018, the researchers report, more than 39,000 people in the USA were injured from riding these seemingly sedate scooters, and about 3,300 people were admitted to the hospital.

About a third of injuries recorded in 2018 affected the head, the researchers report-which actually makes the rate of head injuries relative to all injuries among scooter riders more than double that seen among cyclists, the paper says.

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"Scooters promote active commuting", could help spur wider public transit use and could lead to less traffic congestion, said lead author Dr. Benjamin Breyer.

Millennials had the greatest increase in injuries of any group, with a more than nine-fold increase in injuries over four years.

The researchers had previously looked at bicycle injuries using the same data set, finding that scooter riders had a higher proportion of head injuries.

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Researchers called for more study and better safety features.

Despite the rapid growth of electric scooters in cities across the USA and Europe in particular, there is still very little regulatory oversight - and no law which states that wearing a helmet is mandatory.

Riding an electric scooter on the road - or the pavement - is now forbidden in the United Kingdom, with drivers facing a fine and six points on their driving license if they're caught doing so.

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A study out of the University of California, San Francisco published Wednesday in JAMA Surgery, found that the number of scooter-related injuries in the country between 2014 and 2018 grew by 222% to more than 39,000 injuries. In 2014, 582 injuries were reported to the database among millennials. Smashing into concrete isn't pretty and over a quarter of the injuries - 27 per cent - resulted in fractures.

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