Night-time ban, limiting speed reduce e-scooter injuries in Helsinki

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Limiting speed and imposing ban on using at night-time reduced the number of injuries in e-scooter accidents in Helsinki, said the Helsinki-Uusimaa Hospital District (HUS) in a press release on Friday, quoting a study.

The new study showed that the limitations in Helsinki that entered force in fall 2021 have efficiently reduced the risk of e-scooter injuries.

The study is based on patient records, and it compared electronic scooter injuries that required a visit to an emergency department during January–August in 2021 and 2022.

In Helsinki during the study period in 2021, there were 528 injured patients while the number was 318 in 2022.

When looking at the relative number of trips taken with e-scooters, the risk of injury reduced to about half after the limitations were introduced.

A significant reduction was seen especially in injuries occurring between 11:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m. The share of intoxicated patients decreased from 38% to 31%.

“Based on the results, we can conclude that even a minor limitation in the maximum speed and banning the use of e-scooters during the night has a significant effect on the number of injuries. I think similar limitations should be introduced in other cities with rental e-scooters as well”, said doctoral researcher and physician Henri Vasara of HUS Emergency Medicine and Services.

Despite the reduction in number of injuries, their type and average severity have not changed. Majority of the patients still presented with head and upper limb injuries. Of all incidents, 60% were minor injuries.

During the study period of 2021, 2% of patients wore a helmet, and 6% in 2022.

“I believe that messages from public officials and rental e-scooter companies have had a positive effect on the increase in helmet use. Some contribution may also be due to the fact that the staff at the emergency departments were instructed to ask about helmet use in spring 2022,” said Vasara.

Patients who were injured outside Helsinki or who were documented using their own e-scooters were excluded from the study.

The number of patients injured in e-scooter accidents slightly differ from the previous numbers because of a more detailed screening method.

Based on initial statistics, about 60 e-scooter accidents that required a visit to an emergency department have occurred in Helsinki until the end of May.

“The number of injuries typically increase in June and July. We continue to encourage responsibility and caution when driving an e-scooter,” Vasara added.

  •  e-scooter
  •  Speed
  •  Night-time ban


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