Scooters have been around for decades. Often, those scooters have been foot-powered and used on neighborhood streets. However, in the last few years, there has been a resurgence of high-speed, electric scooters. The popular transportation device can hit speeds upwards of 20 miles-per-hour, making them a top choice to zip around our city.

While fun, this new mode of transportation does have a dark side. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) conducted the first scooter safety study of its kind in 2018 between the months of September and November in Austin. The study included 190 patients that were treated for scooter-related injuries at Austin-area hospitals. The study found that nearly half of the patients suffered a traumatic head injury, including lacerations, skull fractures, and traumatic brain injury. Only one of the patients studied wore a helmet while riding. The other common injuries were musculoskeletal; fractures, lacerations, and abrasions.

What can we do to minimize the risk of injury?

  • Always wear a helmet
  • Wear protective clothing
  • Obey all traffic laws
  • Watch for and avoid potholes and debris on the riding surface
  • Never ride double (Electric scooters are designed for a single rider)
  • Only operate the scooter where allowed
  • Be vigilant, watch out for other riders, bicycles, and pedestrians
  • Follow the safety rules printed on the scooter

Chris Manazir RN, CEN, CFRN, NRP
EMS Outreach/Community Injury Prevention Coordinator
St. David’s South Austin Medical Center