E-scooter riders are almost twice as likely to be killed than motorcyclists, according to new research.
The number of severe traumatic brain injuries also rises twofold – with rates of serious and fatal accidents similar to those of cyclists.
It adds to a growing body of evidence that these eco-devices are the most dangerous form of personal transport.
A UK inquest yesterday heard how 12-year-old Mustafa Nadeem died riding his e-scooter when he fell into the path of a bus in Birmingham last December.
The study’s lead author Dr. Arthur James, of the University of Sorbonne, Paris, France, said: “Injuries due to e-scooters were as severe as those due to bicycle or motorbike crashes.
“The findings may inform health care professionals of the specificities of major trauma related to e-scooters and inform future e-scooter regulation decisions worldwide.”
They are based on an analysis of 5,233 patients in France using data from the national major trauma registry for four years up to December 2022.
Mortality associated with e-scooter road traffic crashes was more than nine percent compared with ten percent for bicycles – and just over five percent for motorbikes.
Doctors have called for awareness campaigns and stricter regulations to reduce the spate of accidents.
Dr. James said: “The findings of this study suggest that trauma involving e-scooters in France has significantly increased over the past four years.
“These patients presented with injury profiles as severe as those of individuals who experienced bicycle or motorbike road traffic crashes, with a higher proportion of severe traumatic brain injury.”
The study population included 229 e-scooter riders, 4,094 motorcyclists and 910 cyclists.
Injured e-scooter patients increased nearly three times from 31 January 2019. At admission, more than a third (37 percent) were drunk and fewer than a quarter (22 percent) wore a helmet.
Dr. James said: “These crashes seem to have a particular effect on the cranial sphere, which might be influenced by the frequency of risky behavior, such as not wearing a helmet or driving under the influence of alcohol.
“These injuries imply major use of in-hospital resources with, for example, more than half of the patients requiring surgery or a stay in the intensive care unit.
“In total, 10 percent of patients with e-scooter road traffic crashes admitted to a major trauma center died during their hospital stay.”
The French National Road Security Services indicated 774 e-scooter accidents occurred in 2020 alone.
What is more, there was a 30 percent rise increase in the number of deaths and a nearly threefold increase in crashes compared with 2019.
The findings in JAMA Network Open are mirrored by Government statistics in the UK where there have been more than 30 deaths involving e-scooters – including two this month.
The youngest person who has died was a 12-year-old rider, the oldest was 74. The number of accidents surged by 37 percent last year.
Dr. James added: “This study could provide meaningful information for stakeholders involved in regulating the use of these devices in France.”
Produced in association with SWNS Talker
Edited by Saba Fatima