Whether you live in San Marcos or elsewhere in the San Diego County area, it is important to know about electric scooters and the personal injury risks they pose. According to a recent news release from the University of California, new research suggests that e-scooters are tied to high rates of traumatic brain injury (TBI), broken bones, and dislocated joints. Those who sustain these types of injuries on e-scooters require medical attention, and some seemingly less serious injuries also require riders to seek treatment in an emergency department.
Why are e-scooters dangerous, and how should residents around San Diego County respond?
New Study Ties Electric Scooters to Serious Personal Injuries
Researchers at UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine conducted the recent study and published their findings in JAMA Network Open in January 2019. As the news release underscores, this study was the first of its kind to be published concerning electric scooter injuries. The authors of the study examined data from Southern California hospitals between September 2017 and August 2018. They determined that one-third of e-scooter accident victims actually arrived to the emergency departments by ambulance, suggesting that the injuries were too severe for those injury victims to transport themselves.
Dr. Tarak Trivedi, the lead author of the study, emphasized that we need to begin taking a closer and more sustained look at the effects of e-scooters on bodily injuries. As he explained, “there are thousands of riders now using these scooters, so it’s more important than ever to understand their impact on public health.” In the published study, the researchers provide some of the following findings about e-scooter injuries:
- Around 92% of e-scooter injuries affect riders, but about 8% of injury victims also include pedestrians;
- Only about 4% of e-scooter riders who sustained injuries severe enough to require treatment in an emergency department were wearing a helmet at the time of the accident;
- Approximately 5% of e-scooter injury victims had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) at or above 0.05%, which physicians cite as the number to indicate “intoxication”;
- 40% of injuries were TBIs and other forms of head trauma;
- 32% of injuries were fractures or broken bones; and
- 28% of injuries were cuts, sprains, or bruises that did not affect the head.
Future of E-Scooter Injuries in San Diego County
While the study cites West Los Angeles at “the epicenter of the electric scooter phenomenon” and thus the location in which riders have the highest injury rates, the San Diego area also has its own share of e-scooter problems. Last year, an article in The San Diego Union-Tribune cited e-scooters as dangerous modes of transportation that cause a variety of injuries, “from broken bones and teeth to punctured lungs and lacerations requiring plastic surgery.”
Earlier this year, the Times of San Diego reported that the San Diego City Council is moving to better regulate e-scooters. For example, while the scooters can travel as fast as 15 miles per hour, new regulations would limit travel to 8 miles per hour and 3 miles per hour in certain areas. Proposed regulations would also require greater oversight of scooter companies.
Contact a Brain Injury Lawyer in San Marcos
If you or someone you love recently suffered a brain injury in an e-scooter accident or in another type of collision, you should reach out to a San Marcos brain injury lawyer to learn more about filing a claim. Contact the Walton Law Firm to discuss your case.
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(image courtesy of Nathan Dumlao)