Last August, electric scooters – already common in metro areas throughout Texas – appeared unannounced on Waco sidewalks.
Two days later, they were gone.
But it got the conversation on this novel method of transportation started and this June, an electric bike and scooter sharing program is set to formally launch in Waco.
Electric scooters can travel up to 15 miles an hour with riders having to negotiate pedestrian and auto traffic, which begs the question, how safe are they?
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is looking at that now, investigating the reported spike in injuries related to the use of electric scooters.
The focus of their study is our neighbor to the south – Austin.
The CDC is working with the Austin Public Health Department to examine severe injuries that occurred last fall, interviewing hundreds of injured riders and analyzing medical charts.
An Austin public health official who is overseeing the study with the CDC compared the rash of electric scooter-related injuries the city has seen to a disease outbreak.
A Journal of the American Medical Association study found that one in three people hurt in electric scooter accidents required treatment in an emergency department.
Punctuating the danger, last September, a 24-year-old Dallas man fell off a scooter and died due to blunt-force head injury.
So this summer, if you decide you must try out this new trend in transportation, please make sure you’re wearing that time-honored piece of safety equipment - a helmet.