August 15, 2022
1 min read
Stray reports no relevant financial disclosures. Please see the study for all other authors’ relevant financial disclosures.
A comparison of electric scooter- and bicycle-related injuries in Oslo, Norway, found most injuries involving “e-scooters” were in young adults at nighttime who were not wearing helmets and were often intoxicated.
August Vincent Stray, MD, DDS, and colleagues at Oslo University Hospital analyzed 3,191 Norwegian patients who reported to the ED for an injury related to use of an e-scooter (n = 850) or bicycle (n = 2,341) between Jan. 1, 2019, and March 31, 2020.
Researchers found the annual incidence of injuries was 120 per 100,000 inhabitants involving e-scooters and 340 per 100,000 inhabitants involving bicycles. Head, neck and lower limb injuries were most common among e-scooter riders, while upper limb, thoracic, abdominal, pelvic and lumbar injuries were most common among bicyclists.
Overall, 62.2% of injuries involving e-scooters and 63.9% of bicycling injuries were in men. Mean age at injury was 31 years for e-scooter riders and 35 years for bicyclists. Researchers noted most injured e-scooter riders were aged 20 to 40 years, while injured bicyclists had a broader age distribution.
According to the study, injuries involving e-scooters more commonly occurred during weekends, evenings or at night, while bicycling injuries more commonly occurred on weekdays during the day. Stray and colleagues also noted e-scooter riders were more likely to be intoxicated (39.5% vs. 7.7% in bicyclists), with a lower rate of helmet use (2.1% vs. 62.2% in bicyclists). After controlling for injuries at night, researchers found 91.3% of e-scooter riders were intoxicated, while 69.4% of bicyclists were intoxicated.
“Given these findings, a preventive benefit may be gained by introducing measures, such as improving infrastructure, initiating awareness campaigns targeting teens, regulating e-scooter numbers and availability at night, implementing helmet regulations and enforcing stricter alcohol policies,” the researchers wrote in the study. “Continued age restriction is also likely to keep the number of children involved in accidents low.”