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Electric scooter riders are sustaining traumatic head injuries

In this image, a person rides an electric scooter through a mostly empty city quad. Skyscrapers are in the background.
A man drives an electric scooter at the "La Defense" business district near Paris in 2018. Photo: Alain Jocard/AFP/Getty Images

According to a new joint study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Public Health and Transportation departments in Austin, Texas, 271 people sustained potential scooter-related injuries from September to November 2018.

By the numbers: Almost half of those 271 riders in Austin experienced head injuries, while 15% sustained traumatic brain injuries. Approximately 55% of riders were injured in the street, while just 33% were injured on a sidewalk. Another 33% of riders said they drank alcohol in the 12 hours prior to any injuries experienced on their electric scooter.

The bottom line: “These injuries may have been preventable,” the study's conclusion states. “Studies have shown that bicycle riders reduce the risk of head and brain injuries by wearing a helmet. Helmet use might also reduce the risk of head and brain injuries in the event of an e-scooter crash.”

Go deeper: Electric scooters are more popular than station-based bikes in the U.S.