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CDC Launches Study to Investigate Electric Scooter Hazards

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently announced that they have launched a study of electric scooter accidents at the request of Austin Public Health and the Austin Transportation Department. Since early 2018, Austin has seen a rise in the number of electric scooters on its city streets and sidewalks. Dockless scooter companies such as Bird Rides and LimeBike were among the first services to launch in Austin. The companies operate much like Uber and Lyft in that users can locate and rent a scooter using an app on their phone. In fact, Uber launched its own electric scooter company, JUMP, in Austin in December 2018. According to some reports, there have been 66 severe traumas, including 19 head injuries, 38 orthopedic injuries, and 13 facial injuries in Austin since the scooters were introduced to the Austin market.

While there have been other studies focused on the rise in scooter-related injuries, the Austin study is the first to be overseen by federal epidemiologists. Both the CDC and Austin Public Health worked together to examine severe injuries that occurred in Austin from September to November 2018. The study is primarily aimed at identifying the range of injuries riders suffer, risk factors, and the root cause of these accidents. At this stage, the agencies have collected the necessary data and are currently in the process of summarizing various reports. According to early reports, researchers have already gathered enough data to discredit the common misconception that most scooter-related injuries occur primarily at night. In fact, preliminary data shows that accidents and injuries occur during all times of the day. Another common misconception that has already been undermined by the study is that most scooter-related accidents involve an automobile. Researchers reported that the majority of scooter-related accidents occur when a rider hits a bump in the road or the rider loses their balance. However, some are due to device malfunctions such as defective brakes which could lead to a potential lawsuit against scooter manufactures.

If you or someone you know has been injured as a result of a defective electric scooter, contact an attorney at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Sorrels, Agosto & Aziz by calling 713-222-7211 or toll free at 1-800-870-9584.

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