Number of e-scooter injuries reduced from 2021
HUS emergency departments in Helsinki treated 148 e-scooter drivers in January–August 2022, which was significantly less than last year. Caution should still be exercised when using electric scooters.
In January–August 2021, the emergency departments in Töölö, Meilahti, and Malmi Hospitals treated 386 injuries related to electric scooters. While the availability of rental e-scooters, number of journeys made with them, as well as the number of private e-scooters have increased, the number of injuries treated at emergency departments has decreased.
“It seems that the night-time speed limits and the ban on renting e-scooters on Friday and Saturday nights have had a significant effect”, says doctoral researcher Henri Vasara from HUS Emergency Medicine and Services.
In September 2021, the City of Helsinki limited the use of e-scooters because e-scooter related accidents overburdened the emergency departments especially during the evenings and nights. Renting e-scooters was banned during weekends between midnight and 5 a.m., and during the week, the maximum night-time speed limit was set to 15 km/h.
In HUS’s review, one of the major findings is that the number of night-time e-scooter injuries has significantly decreased.
“Certainly, the increase in user experience as well as the high media attention have played a role in the decreased number of injuries, but the significance of the limitations cannot be denied”, Vasara summarizes.
Drunk-driving remains a problem
The injuries occurring in an e-scooter accident have remained similar. About half of the patients had head injuries, while limb injuries were the second most common. This year, about half of the injuries were moderate or severe. Severe or very severe injuries were found in 12 people.
The share of patients intoxicated when injured decreased slightly from 44% to 35%, but the amount is still significant. Helmets are essential when preventing injuries to the head.
Aalto University study on improving e-scooter safety published
On November 15, 2022, Aalto University published a study discussing e-scooter safety from several points of view. HUS has participated in the study and delivered data on e-scooter injuries treated by the emergency departments and prehospital emergency care. In addition to the analysis of injured e-scooter drivers, the study observed the e-scooter drivers’ behavior, analyzed responses to a questionnaire, and compared the injured e-scooter drivers to cyclists. The results of the study can be used in other cities as well to improve e-scooter safety. The Aalto University’s study can be found here.
HUS’s study on the 2021 injuries has been published in a peer-reviewed journal and it is freely available here.