A driver struck a woman riding a Bird scooter earlier this month as she crossed 16th Street on Montana Avenue.

The woman was riding the scooter on the right side of the street on Montana, which includes a bike lane. She turned left and was struck from behind by a man driving a Toyota Yaris, suffering a head injury, according to the Santa Monica Police Department (SMPD). The woman was found to be at fault for the April 13 collision because she made an unsafe turn.

There were 89 scooter related traffic and injury incidents in 2018, according to SMPD. 49 of those involved a scooter and a vehicle.

A man riding a personal scooter in Ocean Park died in March when a car struck him after he fell off of his device. He suffered significant head and body trauma and died shortly after being transported to a local hospital.

SMPD did not provide data on the types of injuries Santa Monica scooter riders sustained in the 89 incidents recorded last year, but a UCLA study released in January found that e-scooter riders are most likely to be hospitalized for head injuries and broken bones.

The first-of-its-kind study surveyed Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center and UCLA Medical Center-Santa Monica from September 2017 to August 2018 and recorded 249 patients who visited the emergency room with injuries associated with e-scooter use. The study identified 195 emergency room visits for bicyclist injuries and 181 for pedestrian injuries over the same time period.

Of the individuals treated at the hospitals, 40 percent of patients received head injuries and about one-third broke a bone. Bruises, sprains and cuts accounted for 28 percent of injuries. About 92 percent of patients were riders. Of the 21 non-riders recorded in the study, 11 were hit by a scooter, five tripped over a parked scooter and five were injured trying to lift a scooter.

Of riders, 80 percent fell off their scooters, 11 percent collided with an object and about nine percent were hit by a vehicle.

Only about four percent of riders were wearing a helmet when they were injured and five percent were intoxicated.

The study likely underestimated the number of scooter-associated injuries, the authors said, because it excluded 74 emergency room visits where it was suspected, but not clear, that a scooter was involved. The study also did not include visits to urgent care or primary care clinics for minor injuries.

Four scooter companies are authorized to operate a combined 2,000 scooters in Santa Monica under City Hall’s shared mobility pilot program. The companies are required to share data with the City and recent data shows each device was used about twice per day, on average.

madeleine@smdp.com

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.