CDC Researches the Health Impacts of Motorized Scooters

When Lime, the company that pioneered ride-sharing bikes, released motorized scooters, the public found themselves divided. On the one hand, the lack of infrastructure in some cities, like Austin, Texas or Raleigh, North Carolina, led themselves naturally to motorized, “dockless” scooters. On the other hand, the number of hospitalizations from scooter-related accidents is on the rise. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention sent a task force down to Austin, Texas, to analyze the role motorized scooters have played in EMS calls over the last three months.

Since the Austin scooters’ inauguration in 2016, riders have taken 275,000 trips totaling around 264,000 miles. Those 275,000 trips have led to only 14 crashes, nine injuries, and zero fatalities in Austin. On the campus of the University of Texas at Austin, however, the numbers tell a different story. From the start of September through the beginning of December, the Student Health Services on campus treated 110 different scooter-related injuries. From bumps to bruises to head injuries, the interim director expressed his concern at the sudden increase in physical damage associated with the scooters.

The CDC’s report should help cities address some of the infrastructure and health issues associated with “dockless” scooters. Setting aside no-ride zones, places where there are regulations on when you can ride scooters, and parking locations for scooters should potentially cut down on injuries associated with the scooters. Dr. Phillip Huang, medical director for Austin Public Health, had this to say about the investigation: “We realized we wanted to get a better handle of the magnitude of injuries and the factors associated with the injuries. It’s so new, and we don’t know very much about it.”

What are your thoughts on this new trend of motorized scooters? Want more health and fitness news? Let us know by leaving a comment down below!

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