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Driving posture affects electric scooter riders’ injuries in accidents

Riding position of electric scooter users increases risk of head or brain injuries during accidents and collisions, online ‘fail’ videos reveal

  • Experts say the way electric scooter riders stand can affect head or brain injuries
  • Examine recreated series of typical accident scenarios via computational methods
  • The falling position of the rider exerts a distinct effect on head and/or brain injury
  • Riders ‘would benefit from cushioning their hands, shoulder and chest’ – study

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The riding position of electric scooter riders may increase the risk of head or brain injuries during accidents and collisions, a new study suggests.

Chinese researchers recreated a number of typical accident scenarios via computational methods to investigate how skull injuries were affected by collisions with fixed obstacles or falls from mechanical failure.

They said that both solo and two-wheeled electric scooters caused the same injuries, but the rider’s fall position had a distinct effect on head and/or brain injury.

The experts said that those involved in an accident ‘would benefit from the cushioning of their hands, shoulder and chest to reduce the potential severity of collisions between their head and the road surface’.

Findings: Riding position of electric scooter riders may increase risk of head or brain injuries during accidents and collisions, new study suggests

Findings: Riding position of electric scooter riders may increase risk of head or brain injuries during accidents and collisions, new study suggests

Chinese researchers recreated a series of typical accident scenarios via computational methods to investigate how skull injuries were affected by collisions with fixed obstacles or falls from mechanical failure

Chinese researchers recreated a series of typical accident scenarios via computational methods to investigate how skull injuries were affected by collisions with fixed obstacles or falls from mechanical failure

Chinese researchers recreated a series of typical accident scenarios via computational methods to investigate how skull injuries were affected by collisions with fixed obstacles or falls from mechanical failure

They found that half of the riders in their scenarios had a 50 percent chance of a skull fracture, while several had a 50 percent risk of a serious brain injury.

In general, a higher speed played an important role in producing an injury and how severe that injury was, added the researchers from Changsha University of Science and Technology in China.

However, there was no clear difference in head kinematics and injury risks between solo and two-wheeled scooters.

The researchers decided to conduct the study in the wake of an increase the number of electric self-balancing scooters (ESSs) related road accidents over the past few years.

The experts looked at certain crash scenarios based on online ‘failure’ videos and then evaluated the risk of damage to a rider’s head or brain.

The experts said that those involved in an accident 'would benefit from the cushioning of their hands, shoulder and chest to lower the potential severity of collisions between their head and the road surface' (stock image)

The experts said that those involved in an accident 'would benefit from the cushioning of their hands, shoulder and chest to lower the potential severity of collisions between their head and the road surface' (stock image)

The experts said that those involved in an accident ‘would benefit from the cushioning of their hands, shoulder and chest to lower the potential severity of collisions between their head and the road surface’ (stock image)

They wrote in their paper: ‘Results showed that two types of ESSs (solo and two-wheeled) do not have clear differences in head kinematics and risk of head injury.’

The researchers added that ‘half of the ESS riders analyzed had a 50 percent probability of skull fracture’ and that ‘higher ESS speed generates a higher level of predicted head injury parameters’.

“Our findings suggest that ESS riders involved in an accident will benefit from the cushioning of their hands, shoulder and chest to lower the potential severity of collisions between their head and the road surface,” they added.

‘These findings will provide theoretical support for head injury prevention among ESS riders and data support for the development and legislation of ESSs.’

The study has been published in Journal of the Royal Society Interface.

E-scooters pose a risk to ALL road users without strict regulations controlling their use, leading insurers say

Robust rules and enforcement are needed around the use of e-scooters, insurance industry bodies say amid fears for their safety.

In the year ending June 2021, there were 882 accidents involving the units across the UK, government figures show.

This resulted in 931 victims – of which 732 were e-scooter users.

In a letter to Transport Minister Grant Shapps, bodies such as the Association of British Insurers said there are concerns about a risk to all road users until there is robust regulation beyond official trials.

It called for coherent standards for the construction and safety of e-scooters, including whether helmet wearing is mandatory.

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