With the mass introduction of shared, dockless electric scooter (e-scooter) programs, many cities are struggling to understand injury implications. This article systematically documents what is known about e-scooter injuries using emergency department (ED) studies; it also provides recommendations to better understand the health and safety risks of this emerging mode. A systematic review was performed for all e-scooter articles through November 2019, retaining injury-related articles. In the case where surveillance data and exposure data were available, injury rates were explored. A total of 18 articles were identified, including: five that used surveillance data methods; seven examining all e-scooter injuries from one to three hospitals; and six examining a medically specific subset of those injured. Variations in the reporting structure of data make pooling difficult, but some trends are emerging. Three surveillance studies report an injury rate of 20–25 ED visits per 100,000 trips. Those injured rarely wear helmets, resulting in a high proportion of head injuries. Extremity injuries, including fractures, are also widespread. The profile of the injured appears to be a 30-year-old male. However, once normalized by exposure data, female, young, and older riders may be at higher risk of injury. Comparisons with other modes remain unclear; this is as much a challenge of the exposure data for the other modes as information on e-scooters. Assumptions about comparisons with bicyclists should be more thoroughly examined. Data harmonization and collaboration between vendors, municipalities, and public health departments would improve the quality of data and resulting knowledge about e-scooter safety risk.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Civil and Structural Engineering
- Mechanical Engineering