Doctors see increase in electric scooter injuries

Several scooters were left lying on the busy sidewalk of West Cesar Chavez Saturday night. The scene of a scooter crash that sent one man to the hospital with life threatening injuries.

Emergency room doctors at Dell Seton Medical Center see up to ten people with scooter-related injuries a day. The sudden influx of electronic dockless scooters can be seen in downtown Austin.

Riders can reach speeds up to 15-mph and are expected to follow the same safety regulations as bicyclists. However, Dell Seton Trauma Surgeon Jayson Aydelotte said that doesn't appear to be the case. At least one scooter rider is admitted to the ICU a week.

"I just know we see injuries from scooter accidents all the time,” Dr. Aydelotte said. "You really should treat it like anything else you're getting on the road with. I can tell you it's not safe to be on a scooter if you've been drinking or doing something that makes you not be able to react the same way you would behave in a car."

The city has battled with ways to regulate dockless scooters since they first arrived.

The CDC is conducting a first of its kind study on scooter related injuries in Austin. Focusing on 37 calls to paramedics and 68 scooter injuries reported through hospitals from September through early November. The transportation department will use the findings to determine how many scooters can safely operate in the city.

The CDC’s data will be presented to the Austin City Council in the spring.