New Zealand study finds e-scooters carry greater medical risk than expected
Source: Asia Insurance Review | Oct 2019
Personal mobility devices such as electric scooters have been gaining popularity worldwide but seems to always come hand-in-hand with controversy. According to a new medical study in New Zealand, which covered a five-month period at the Auckland City Hospital, injuries from electric scooter mishaps can be as severe as those from vehicle accidents.
The hospital treated 21 patients for falling off e-scooters with many requiring surgeries. The paper published in the New Zealand Medical Journal was the first detailed look at the public health cost of e-scooter crashes in the country — covering the period between the launch of Lime (a global electric scooter rental service) in Auckland until the company’s license was temporarily suspended over safety concerns.
The New Zealand Herald reports another finding whereby the number of e-scooter injuries outnumbered motorcycle injuries in the city over the same period.
A spokesperson for Lime said the numbers need to be put into context — saying that “during the period in the study we had nearly 200,000 riders” and nearly 1m rides.
Adding “any injury is one too many, but in the overall scheme of things it’s a very small percentage of rides.”
Lime and other scooter companies have made modifications to their scooters in New Zealand’s largest city, such as reducing their top speed to a little more than 14km/h.
This was done in accordance to a safety agreement reached with the Auckland City Council. The city council director of regulatory services said the new medical study would help the council evaluate its approach to licensing e-scooters in the city.