Nearly half of all electric scooter accidents result in head injuries, according to a new study released by the CDC and the Austin Public Health Department.
At the Epidemic Intelligence Service conference in Atlanta, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention presented the results of a study conducted in conjunction with the Austin Public Health Department about the injuries suffered in electric scooter accidents.
The CDC and the Austin Public Health Department conducted an 87-day study. The study identified 271 riders who had potentially suffered injuries in electric scooter (e-scooter) accidents. After interviewing half of the identified individuals, the researchers found that 45 percent of e-scooter accidents involved head injuries.
E-Scooter Accident Statistics
During the CDC study, which was conducted from September 5 to November 30, 2018, in Austin, TX, a total of 936,110 e-scooter trips were taken, totaling 182,333 hours and 891,121 miles of use. The study found that 45 percent of the e-scooter accidents reviewed resulted in a head injury.
The study also found that only 1 percent of riders were wearing a helmet at the time of their accident. The study determined that 20 riders suffered an injury in an accident for every 100,000 trips taken.
Who Is Liable for Head Injuries in an E-Scooter Accident?
When a rider is injured in an e-scooter accident, there are multiple parties that may bear some liability for head injuries suffered in the accident, depending on the circumstances of the accident.
The CDC noted that many e-scooter accidents were due, at least in part, to the rider’s inexperience with e-scooters. One co-author of the study identified additional training on safe riding to reduce the risk of accidents. An e-scooter rental company found to have negligently failed to instruct riders on the safe use of an e-scooter may be held liable if the rider’s inexperience causes an accident.
The study also noted that many riders cited the poor conditions of sidewalks or pavement as having caused their accidents. Under certain circumstances, it may be possible to hold a municipal government or property owner responsible for the poor condition of pavement or sidewalks when it results in an e-scooter accident.
When an e-scooter accident is caused by a defective or negligently maintained scooter, the manufacturer or rental company may also be held liable for head injuries suffered in an accident. Even if a rider is wearing a helmet, if the helmet is defectively designed or manufactured, and the rider suffers a head injury, the helmet manufacturer can be held liable for those injuries.
When a negligent motorist hits an e-scooter rider, that motorist can be held liable for head injuries suffered by the rider.
Should Riders Be Required to Wear a Helmet?
The CDC study recommended that e-scooter riders wear helmets whenever they ride. The study noted that bicycle riders reduce their risk of head injuries by wearing helmets, and concluded that helmet use could similarly reduce the risk of head injuries in e-scooter accidents.