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CDC Releases Report on Electric Scooters and Public Health

A highly anticipated analysis of public health outcomes caused by the proliferation of electric scooters has been released. Most of the reported are considered preventable.
May 4, 2019, 9am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Sarah Holder reports that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently released a report on the public health threats posed by electric scooters, focusing on the preventability of many of the injuries suffered by scooter riders since they began hitting streets within the last year-plus.

Holder explains the circumstances that led to the study:

The CDC began studying the public health impacts of dockless electric scooters soon after the tiny contraptions arrived on the streets of Austin, Texas, in April of 2018. The city’s transportation and public health agencies quickly noticed that a lot of people seemed to be falling off the vehicles, so they requested support to study the problem. The CDC sent four researchers to help launch the first epidemiological investigation into the safety of the micromobility revolution. In the 87-day study period, the CDC and Austin’s Public Health agency identified 271 riders with potential e-scooter-accident-related injuries, and interviewed more than half of them.

According to the study's findings from Austin, 45 percent of the injuries suffered by scooter users were head injuries, and 15 percent of those were "traumatic head injuries."

"For every 100,000 trips taken, 20 individuals were injured," adds Holden to the findings shared and expounded upon in the article. Inexperience played a role in many of the injuries, as did road conditions. Interestingly, only 16 percent of the incidents counted in this study were involved cars or trucks.

Full Story:
Published on Friday, May 3, 2019 in CityLab
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