The New Transportation Revolution: UCSF Research Team to Track Injuries Involving Electronic Scooters
"When technology enters transportation, people forget that it also becomes public health. It becomes something where human lives are at stake.” --- Dr. Catherine Juillard, UCSF trauma surgeon at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital (ZSFG)
The New York Times, NBC Nightly News and UCSF News Center report on the controvery surrounding the influx of new vehicles such as motor-assisted scooters and mopeds into urban areas, and their impact on safety, notably here in San Francisco. Many in this class are shared or "just-in-time" vehicles that users rent on the spot, some maybe for the first time.
Catherine Juillard, M.D., MPH., a trauma surgeon and assistant professor in the UCSF Department of Surgery at ZSFG, and Christopher Colwell, MD, a UCSF professor and chief of emergency medicine at ZSFG, will be studying the impact of their on public safety at a very granular level, distinguishing, for example, among injuries that involve electric bikes, mo-peds and scooters, hoverboards, Segways, and unicycles. The goal of this research is to eventually provide lawmakers and analysts with the data that will inform sound regulation and public policy.
Juillard told the New York Times:
“I can say that several years ago that I didn’t see these types of injuries happening, and now I do,” said Dr. Juillard, who is also a professor researching injury prevention at the University of California, San Francisco. “But we have to do the hard work of looking at the data to determine if there’s truly a trend.”
Colwell, who sees a wide range of injuries that many not necessarily require surgery, added:
“I’m quite confident that we were seeing five to 10 injuries from this a week, and I’m probably underestimating that,” Dr. Colwell said. “We saw one or zero a month before the increase in electric scooters.”
The UCSF researchers have teamed with Megan Wier, an epidemiologist with the San Francisco Department of Public Health and the Vision Zero SF Injury Prevention Research (VZIPR) Collaborative to study this emergent issue and its impact. The NY Times described the somewhat frenetic process to develop standardized data-collection.
With the clock ticking, Ms. Wier and her colleagues combed through months of police and hospital records to help inform the classifications. But she believes the most useful injury patterns will emerge only after a data schema is established and the scooters return to San Francisco.
NBC Nightly News also covered the story in its national broadcast, underscoring the importance of this issue across the U.S. and internationally. NBC interviewed both Juillard and Colwell for the story as did UCSF News.
|Health Officials Prepare to Track Electric Scooter Injuries||New York Times|
|Scooter Safety: UCSF Doctors to Track New Injuries||UCSF News|