Electric Scootershare Safety Study, Austin, TX, 2019

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  • Date Enacted: Apr 1, 2019

Summary

The Austin Public Health Department (APH), with assistance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention conducted a study to look at the rate of injuries involving rentable dockless electric scooters in Austin, TX.  The study was released April 2019 and can be downloaded here, “The Dockless Electric Scooter-Related Injuries Study”.

Scooters first appeared in Austin in April 2018.  Austin has a well-defined scootershare permit program that outlines a number electric scootershare policies and also safety measures that scootershare operators must follow.  In light of these policies, the safety of scootershare had not yet been examined, making this study an important resource as it highlights the safety concerns related to scootershare along with the importance of having supportive land-use policies and training to help assure their safe use.

The study collected emergency room visit data between September 5 to November 30, 2018 and also followed-up with telephone interviews of the reported cases.

Key findings of the study include:

  • 33% Reported this was their first time on an electric scooter
  • 80% Of the riders head a severe injury
  • 55% Injured on the street
  • 50% Believed a pothole or crack was the cause of the accident
  • 37% Reported that excessive scooter speed contributed to their injury
  • Only one rider, <1% was wearing a helmet

For more information on scootershare policies across the country visit the Electric Scootershare Learning Module.

Updated May 2019

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