Electric scooter rentals have become big business in major cities across the United States. From cities along the west coast to America’s heartland and even in Washington, D.C. People simply find a scooter and scan the vehicle with an app on their phone. They then pay an initial fee and are charged by the minute. Companies such as Bird and Lime were the first to get scooters out for rent, but now even ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft are getting in the scooter rental business. While the scooters are viewed favorably in most cities, medical professionals are concerned with the increase in injuries that are happening to both pedestrians and scooter riders. Now, the CDC is investigating the e-scooters, as KEYT reports.
David Hamilton, a shortstop for the University of Texas baseball team hit a pothole while riding an e-scooter. The resulting crash caused him to tear his Achilles tendon. He’ll now miss the entire baseball season.
21-year-old Mark Sands was the first e-scooter related death for Austin, Texas. Sands suffered from catastrophic injuries when he collided with a car while riding an e-scooter.
Austin has the highest scooter-to-citizen ratio in the nation, and the rise in injuries related to the electric vehicles has prompted city officials to request that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to investigate the scooters.
The study, which is the first one conducted by the CDC, will look into how scooter accidents can be prevented.
One physician, Dr. Oscar Guillamondegui, who is the trauma ICU director at Nashville’s Vanderbilt University Medical Center says they are seeing 5 to 6 injuries a week related to the e-scooters on average.
In Atlanta, the number of e-scooter related injuries has increased from about 30 per month to 100 according to Dr. Hany Atallah, chief of emergency medicine at Grady Memorial Hospital.
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