E-scooter crashes in Downtown Austin are rare: ATCEMS report

A new report from Austin-Travis County EMS suggests crashes involving scooters are actually pretty rare.

"In the big scope of things it's a relatively minor impact to our system," said ATCEMS Division Chief Kevin Parker.

In the past three months, medics treated 48 patients for scooter-related incidents, a tiny fraction of the more than 25,000 total patients they saw. For context, Austinites took more than 725,000 scooter rides during that time.

In all of fiscal year 2023, medics transported 132 people to the hospital for scooter-related injuries. Eight died or were seriously hurt.

"That's eight families whose lives are changed. That's eight patients whose lives are changed," said ATCEMS Capt. Christa Stedman.

The vast majority of crashes happened in Downtown Austin, especially in the entertainment districts like 6th Street. Most involved people in their 20s and 30s.

"I think that the fact that a lot of people were surprised that that number was so low does speak to the idea that there is a way to safely use micromobility devices," said Stedman.

Stedman says it’s on drivers and scooter riders to ensure that safety.

"Make sure you're paying attention to your surroundings, make sure you're following the appropriate laws and using the device like it should be," said Stedman. "It’s just as illegal to scoot while intoxicated as it is to drive all intoxicated."

Beyond that, medics say the most important thing you can do to keep yourself from getting seriously hurt while riding a scooter, is to wear a helmet and other protective gear.