Electric Scooter Injury in Southern California Trauma Centers

J Am Coll Surg. 2020 Jul;231(1):133-138. doi: 10.1016/j.jamcollsurg.2020.02.047. Epub 2020 Mar 30.


Background: Electric scooters are popular in Southern California due to their ease of use, affordability, and availability. The objective of this study was to characterize how hospital admissions and outcomes varied due to electric scooter injury among Southern California trauma centers.

Study design: Trauma registry data from 9 urban trauma centers were queried for patients sustaining injury while operating an electric scooter from January to December 2018. Data collection included patient demographics, diagnoses, interventions, and outcomes.

Results: During the 1-year study period, 87 patients required trauma surgeon care due to scooter-related injury, with a mean age of 35.1 years; 71.3% were male with 20.7% and 17.2% of patients requiring ICU admission and a surgical intervention, respectively. One (1.1%) patient died. The head and face were most commonly injured, followed by the extremities. Helmet use was uncommon (71.3%). High variability in patient volume was noted, with 2 centers considered high-incidence and the remaining low-incidence.

Conclusions: Injuries from electric scooter crashes are primarily to the head, face, and extremities, with approximately 1 in 5 patients requiring ICU admission and/or a surgical intervention. There is significant variation in patient volume among Southern California trauma centers that could affect the delivery of care with the abrupt introduction of this technology. Targeted public health interventions and policies might better address community use of the electric scooter.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Traffic / statistics & numerical data*
  • Adult
  • California / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Fractures, Bone / epidemiology*
  • Fractures, Bone / etiology
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Trauma Centers / statistics & numerical data*