Riding posture affects injuries of electric scooter riders in accidents

Electric scooter users’ riding posture increases risk of head or brain injuries during accidents and collisions, online ‘glitch’ videos reveal

  • Experts say the way electric scooter riders stand can affect head or brain injuries
  • Study of recreated series of typical accident scenarios through computational methods
  • The cyclist’s falling posture exerts a different effect on head and/or brain injury
  • Cyclists ‘would benefit from cushioning of their hands, shoulders and chest’: study

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

Chinese researchers recreated a series of typical accident scenarios through computational methods to investigate how head injuries were affected by collisions with fixed obstacles or falls due to mechanical failure.

They said both single and two-wheeled electric scooters caused the same injuries, but the rider’s falling posture had a different effect on head and/or brain injury.

Experts said those who have an accident “would benefit from cushioning of their hands, shoulders and chest to reduce the potential severity of collisions between their head and the road surface”.

Findings: The riding posture of electric scooter drivers may increase the risk of head or brain injuries during accidents and collisions, a new study suggests

Findings: The riding posture of electric scooter drivers may increase the risk of head or brain injuries during accidents and collisions, a new study suggests

Chinese researchers recreated a series of typical accident scenarios through computational methods to investigate how head injuries were affected by collisions with fixed obstacles or falls due to mechanical failure.

Chinese researchers recreated a series of typical accident scenarios through computational methods to investigate how head injuries were affected by collisions with fixed obstacles or falls due to mechanical failure.

Chinese researchers recreated a series of typical accident scenarios through computational methods to investigate how head injuries were affected by collisions with fixed obstacles or falls due to mechanical failure.

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

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

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

The researchers decided to conduct the study in the wake of a growing number of traffic accidents related to self-balancing electric scooters (ESS) in recent years.

Experts looked at certain accident scenarios based on online ‘failure’ videos and then assessed the risk of injury to a cyclist’s head or brain.

Experts said those who have an accident “would benefit from cushioning of their hands, shoulders and chest to reduce the potential severity of collisions between their head and the road surface” (file image)

They wrote in their article: “The results showed that two types of ESS (solo and two-wheelers) have no clear differences in head kinematics and head injury risks.”

The researchers added that “half of the ESS cyclists tested had a 50 percent chance of skull fracture” and that “a higher ESS speed generates a higher level of predicted head injury parameters.”

“Our results suggest that ESS users who are involved in an accident would benefit from cushioning of their hands, shoulders and chest to reduce the potential severity of collisions between their head and the road surface,” they added.

“These findings will provide theoretical support for preventing head injuries among ESS users and data support for developing and legislating ESS.”

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

Electric scooters pose a risk to ALL road users without strict regulations controlling their use, say major insurers

Strong regulations and enforcement around the use of e-scooters are needed, say insurance industry bodies amid fears about their safety.

In the year ending June 2021 there were 882 device-related accidents in Britain, government figures show.

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

In a letter to Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, bodies including the Association of British Insurers said there are concerns about the risk to all road users until there is strong regulation beyond official testing.

He called for consistent standards on e-scooter construction and safety, even if the use of helmets is mandatory.

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