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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 215-220

E-scooter crashes: Are they a risky underestimated new mode of transport? A medical and technical assessment

1 Department of Trauma, Hannover Medical School, Hannover, Germany
2 Accident Research Unit, Hannover Medical School, Hannover, Germany
3 Department of Trauma, Hannover Medical School; Accident Research Unit, Hannover Medical School, Hannover, Germany

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Friederike Weidemann
Buchenplan 10, Hannover 30655
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/atr.atr_48_21

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Background and Objectives: In 2019, electric scooters (e-scooters) were legalized for use on German roads. Their popularity is attributable to their relatively cheap and easy availability. E-scooters had already been established in other countries for some time. A rising number of crashes involving e-scooters have been reported from different countries, but data about crashes in Germany are still limited. Materials and Methods: Our local accident research unit documented prospectively a statistically randomized sample of e-scooter crashes between July 2019 and December 2020. Collected data include, but is not limited to, injury details as well as technical characteristics and circumstances of the crashes. Results: Twenty-three crashes are included in this study. Two drivers (8.70%) were uninjured and 60.87% (n = 14) suffered only minor injuries (Maximum Abbreviated Injury Scale [MAIS] 1). Four drivers (17.39%) sustained a MAIS 2 and three drivers (13.04%) a MAIS 3. 41 injuries in total were recorded among the 23 patients included in this study. The Injury Severity Score ranged from 0 to 22. In our cohort, the main person responsible for the crash was most often the e-scooter driver him/herself (n = 20, 86.96%). In n = 6 (26.09%), a positive alcohol test was carried out, and one driver (4.35%) was under the influence of cannabis. Conclusions: Crashes involving e-scooters have the potential to cause severe injuries and e-scooters should not be considered harmless gadgets. The prevalence of drug and alcohol use during e-scooter driving and the high percentage of e-scooter drivers being responsible for the crash may indicate potential recklessness on the part of the drivers.

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