The researchers say the study likely underestimates the prevalence of e-scooter injuries. For example, it documented only people who required an emergency medical response or treatment at an emergency room – not those who sought treatment at an urgent care facility or private physician.
Still, the study offers clues as to what might prevent injuries. More than a third of injured riders interviewed reported that excessive speed contributed to their injury. Nearly 30 percent said they had drunk an alcoholic beverage in the 12 hours preceding their injury. And nearly half had head injuries.
The researchers called for better education on safe scooter riding practices.
“These educational messages should emphasize both wearing a helmet and maintaining a safe speed while riding an e-scooter,” the report concluded. “Educational messages should especially target young adults 18 to 29 years of age.”
Despite safety concerns, advocates say scooters can be part of the solution to Atlanta's traffic mess. You can find more information on Atlanta's scooter debate here.