Electric scooter (e-scooter) usage is steadily increasing in Georgia and around the country. The growing popularity of these micromobility devices in urban areas and on college campuses makes safety awareness especially important since many drivers are unaccustomed to sharing the road with them. In addition, emergency rooms have seen an increase in crashes involving e-scooter riders, particularly individuals who are new to, or have limited experience with, this mode of transportation.
This prompted the Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety to team up with Shepherd Center to create Scoot Safe, the first federally funded, evidence-based e-scooter injury prevention campaign in the nation.
Shepherd Center, a hospital specializing in treatment of brain and spinal cord injuries, has observed rising e-scooter-related injuries – 44% of them brain injuries. Despite this trend, national research shows most e-scooter riders who were injured in crashes were not wearing helmets. Since 2018, there have been 11 reported scooter deaths in Georgia – a fatality rate drastically higher than the national average.
This partnership between highway safety and brain trauma experts led to the creation of a safe scooting checklist that cities and municipalities can customize and share with riders. Scoot Safe also features a series of short videos highlighting the importance of following e-scooter provider safety instructions, why you should always wear a helmet and the dangers of using an e-scooter while under the influence of alcohol and other impairing substances. These resources, along with in-depth reports on e-scooter safety and infographics that can be shared on social media, are available on the Scoot Safe website.
At the first Scoot Safe Summit, held July 14-15, 2021, scooter operators, city and school administrators, health professionals and e-scooter providers gathered for an informative and interactive virtual summit, with rider safety and micromobility as major themes.