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Weekend drinking a factor in many e-scooter injuries, researchers say

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Berlin — Electric scooter-related injuries are more likely to occur on weekends and among risky riders who are under the influence of alcohol, results of a recent study out of Germany show.

Researchers from three Berlin hospitals examined 248 e-scooter-related injuries treated at four emergency rooms in the central part of the city over the last half 2019. At two of the ERs, injured patients were asked to fill out a questionnaire that asked about their previous e-scooter experience, whether they had a driver’s license, if they had been drinking before the incident, whether they were wearing a helmet and the likely cause of the incident.

 

The researchers found that 58% of the injuries occurred on weekends. Additionally, 1 out of 5 patients tested positive for alcohol via a breath test; of those, 31% suffered a traumatic brain injury. A positive breath test for alcohol was linked to a fivefold increase in the odds of a TBI and double the odds of hospital admission.

The most common causes of injury were one-handed driving, inexperience, speeding and curb jumping. Other key findings:

  • The patients’ average age was 29, but they ranged from 5 to 81.
  • Leg and arm injuries accounted for 72% of the injuries.
  • Only 1% of the patients had been wearing a helmet.
  • 1 out of 4 patients were admitted to the hospital.

In a press release, the researchers call for stricter regulations on the use of e-scooters to limit injuries, including helmet and age (at least 18) requirements, a ban on alcohol, and strict adherence to traffic laws.

The study was published online June 7 in the Emergency Medicine Journal.

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