Austin's 'Scooter-Related Injuries' study shows most collisions are with inanimate objects

On Thursday, Austin Public Health and Austin Transportation released the results of their "Dockless Electric Scooter-Related Injuries Study" they conducted with help from the CDC.

"While there are other e-scooter injury studies, this is the first study which conducted interviews with injured riders," said Stephanie Hayden, Director of Austin Public Health.

Data was collected from Austin-Travis County EMS and local hospitals between September and November of 2018. On average, the study shows 20 people were injured per 100,000 scooter trips.

"It's statistically not significant compared to vehicle crash rates for instance or even motorcycle or other bicycle crash rates," said Jason JonMichael with Austin Transportation. 

Of 190 injured scooter riders, 183 were alone on the scooter at the time. "Most of the injuries that occurred, occurred with the scooter user by themselves and some other inanimate object in the environment," JonMichael said.

"There may be a perception that a lot of the scooter riders were involved with collisions with motor vehicles, we didn't find that.  We found that falls were contributing to it, they were losing balance or they were hitting a curb," said Jeff Taylor an Epidemiologist with Austin Public Health.

Nearly half of the 190 riders (48%) had injuries to their head. Only 1 person was wearing a helmet.

So where are the injuries happening? According to the study almost half of injured riders were hurt in downtown Austin or in the UT area.

39% of injuries happened between 6pm and 6am.

29% of the interviewed riders reported having alcohol within the previous 12 hours.

37% say speed was a factor in the injury.

Later this month, the Austin City Council is set to vote on a package of ordinances related to scooters.

The city says this study is informing the writing of those ordinances. To see the full study, click here.