An e-scooter rider is hospitalised on average once per week and none of those who end up in the emergency room were wearing a helmet at the time of their accident.
Head injuries and broken jaws are the most common injuries resulting from an e-scooter crash, according to a new joint study by road safety institute VIAS and five Belgian hospitals.
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The study also found that accidents involving the electric two-wheelers were more common in Brussels than in Flanders or Wallonia, with more operators present in the market of the Belgian capital.
Other frequent injuries among hospitalised e-scooter riders were fractured wrists and lesions to the abdomen, resulting from the blow of the belly against the scooter's steering wheel.
In a majority of studied cases, the e-scooter rider was the only person involved in the incident or crash and they were mainly inexperienced or first-time riders aged between 20 and 40 years old.
VIAS said that those who owned their own e-scooter were more likely to be equipped with safety gear than those who rented a public scooter, who were more likely to "underestimate the risks and adopt a slightly riskier behaviour."
E-scooter accidents mostly take place during the day in areas with heavy and mixed traffic, but some took place when users were riding on a cycling lane.
"After a certain time of day, a non-negligible proportion of users under the influence" were also involved in an accident, VIAS found.
The road safety institute compared traffic rules between 12 different countries and found that only two had made the use of a helmet obligatory for e-scooters.
Additionally, Belgium is one of the few countries which continues to allow e-scooter users to ride on the sidewalk, "provided they ride at a walking pace, which is all but impossible on board a motorised engined," VIAS wrote.
The Brussels Times