Injury risk higher for e-scooters than bicycles

Users of e-scooters face a significantly greater risk of serious injury than cyclists, according to an analysis published today.

A team, led by Mr Christopher Aylwin of Queen Mary University of London, UK, looked at e-scooter related hospital admissions due to significant trauma in England and Wales.

Their findings were published as today the West Midlands mayor Andy Street abandoned an e-scooter trial.

They used figures from the UK Trauma Audit and Research Network (TARN) registry on 293 e-scooter trauma incidents and 2,538 bicycle incidents during 2021.

This showed that e-scooter users were significantly more likely to be injured badly enough to go to a major trauma centre or critical care unit.

"Serious head and limb trauma occurred more frequently among the e-scooter cohort, while serious chest and pelvic trauma were greater among bicycle users," the researchers write in *Injury Prevention* today.

However, death was rare – 3% for e-scooter riders versus 2% for cyclists.

They add that a third of those seriously injured on e-scooters were either intoxicated by alcohol and drugs or under the age of 17.

The team call for additional legislation and tighter regulation of e-scooter rentals.

They state: “E-scooters are an emerging mode of transport in the UK, and full characterisation of rates and types of injury will require ongoing study. However, these preliminary results indicate that [their] use may result in a higher relative rate of hospital admission due to significant trauma than bicycles and in particular, higher rates of severe head injury.

“As the number of e-scooter trips taken continues to grow, further legislation and tighter regulation of e-scooter rental are required to reduce the already significant burden of injury associated with this mode of transport.”

Clough, R. A. et al. Major trauma among E-Scooter and bicycle users: a nationwide cohort study. *Injury Prevention* 1 March 2023 doi: 10.1136/1p-2022-044722


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