AUSTIN, TX. – In the midst of a national electric scooter craze, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is working on a report regarding the health risks of the vehicles, according to an online article from The report data has been gathered from the City of Austin, Texas, where about 14,000 e-scooters are in commission on the streets.*

Officials in Austin started to grow concerned about injuries for riders and others sharing the sidewalks and roads with scooters and moved for the CDC to conduct a study about the risks of the vehicles. This is the first study of its kind, and the CDC is analyzing scooter-related accidents and how the accidents might have been avoided.

The study began in December 2018. Epidemiologists with the CDC have reviewed EMS calls and emergency department records for Austin during a time window from September 2018 to November 2018. They were specifically looking for people who reported scooter accidents or were treated in an ER for scooter-related injuries. From the 60 days of records, they identified 258 people with scooter injuries.

The CDC report will likely become available in March, and it is expected to include some information about how representative the sample is for the nation. It seems from other reports like the rate of scooter injuries the CDC epidemiologists identified is reflective of those across the country. For instance, in Atlanta, Georgia, emergency department doctors have seen scooter injuries increase by a significant amount as the vehicles become more popular.

“I’m concerned people are riding these things without helmets and on roads in busier traffic,” said Dr. Hany Atallah, Chief of Emergency Medicine at Grady Health System in Atlanta. “As opposed to motorcycles, these wheels are pretty small. Certainly, hitting a pothole can send someone over.”

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