Electric scooter riders, protect your head!
The (CDC) said in a out this week that nearly half of all e-scooter injuries involve head trauma. Maybe worse, most of the incidents could have been prevented by simply wearing a helmet or other safety equipment.
The CDC published the study in collaboration with the Austin Public Transportation Department (APTD) and Austin Public Health (APH). It examined electric scooter trends in the Texas capital from September through November 2018.
The researchers identified 271 people with potential e-scooter-related injuries during the study. Further analysis of the report combined the number of confirmed injuries (160) with other probable injuries (32). Of those 190 injured riders, 48 percent experienced injuries to the head.
Furthermore, 70 percent of these riders suffered injuries to their upper limbs such as their hands, wrists, arms, and shoulders. Fifty-five percent experienced injuries to their lower limbs.
The study also found that about half of the injured riders suffered a severe injury, meaning bone fractures, severe bleeding, long hospital stays, or organ damage. Broken bones were slightly more common on riders’ arms (11 percent) than their legs (6 percent), according to the study.
But what really stands out: less than one percent of riders were wearing a helmet when they were injured.
Helmet use is quickly becoming a growing problem for e-scooter companies. A JAMA study earlier this year found that 40 percent of injuries involved the head and only about 4 percent of injured riders wore helmets. This has led to companies creating helmets that are easier to carry, some even collapse.
Companies like Morpher are now making helmets with folding features. SoCal-based electric vehicle-share company Wheels this week also unveiled its patent filing for a helmet that fits onto the e-bike itself. After each ride, biodegradable hygienic liners could be replaced on the shared helmet. The vehicle would detect when the helmet was removed and then returned to its slot above the back wheel.
The first iterations of the built-in helmet design are expected to come later this year to its bikes in the Los Angeles and San Diego areas.
A group promoting e-scooter and e-bike-share access, The Micromobility Coalition, said in a statement from executive director Ryan McConaghy Thursday that he welcomed the attention the CDC put on e-scooter safety and called for “smarter standards like protected bike lanes and infrastructure to help ensure cars and all micromobility can coexist safely on our roadways.” He also urged riders to follow traffic laws and safety rules from the rental companies to mitigate scooter incidents.
Lime’s chief policy officer, David Spielfogel, said in an email statement that the e-scooter company is always looking to improve safety for riders and everyone else on the road. “If we want to help people move around their communities efficiently and equitably, we need to ensure options besides cars are trusted as safe and reliable,” he wrote.
Lyft launched scooters in several U.S. cities last year and has been encouraging safe riding, better street design in cities, and partnering with advocacy groups — all in the name of safety.
Last month, Bird scooter-share company released its own safety report and encouraged helmet-wearing, careful riding, and appropriate parking and scooter etiquette. Bird’s director of safety policy and advocacy Paul Steely White wrote in a statement, “We plan to apply the insights provided by Austin Public Health’s report to our global operations, marketing campaigns, public affairs and rider education initiatives while we also further raise the bar for vehicle safety.” In January, California modified its helmet laws to allow adults over 18 to decide whether or not to wear a helmet while on an e-scooter.
With all this in mind, we’ll leave you with a simple piece of advice: Please just wear a helmet if you’re going to ride an e-scooter.
This post was curated & Posted using : RealSpecific
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