E-scooters caused numerous accidents requiring emergency care in the summer. The majority of those involved were intoxicated young people.

The HUS joint emergency departments at Malmi and Meilahti and the Emergency Department at Töölö Hospital saw about 500 patients injured in e-scooter accidents in 2021.  

The serious injuries were treated at the Emergency Department at Töölö Hospital, while minor trauma was dealt with at joint emergency departments.

Accidents often involved intoxicated young people

An average victim of an e-scooter accident was a young adult about 30 years old who had left a party in an intoxicated state and had taken an e-scooter to get home. Excess speed and reflex impairment due to intoxication led to a collision or fall. 

Head trauma was particularly prominent among these injuries. At least one in three of these accident victims had some type of head trauma. Fractures of the upper limbs were also common along with injuries consistent with the victim breaking a fall with outstretched arm.

Several dozen e-scooter riders were seriously injured, presenting with intracranial bleeding, moderate or severe brain damage, complicated fractures in the head and fractures of large load-bearing bones.

Efforts to restrict e-scooter use on weekend nights

During the summer, we made a concerted publicity effort to lobby for restricting e-scooter use, particularly on weekend nights. 

Under the guidance of Minister of Transport and Communications Timo Harakka, e-scooter companies implemented restrictions before summer ended. At the beginning of September, e-scooter use was banned in Helsinki on weekend nights between midnight and 05.00. This ban was to be in place until the end of the year.

The incidence of e-scooter accidents dropped substantially both at the Töölö Hospital Emergency Department and at HUS joint emergency departments.  

Research on e-scooter accidents

In autumn 2021, a research project on e-scooter accidents was launched at the initiative of Henri Vasara B.M., with the research team reviewing all patients treated because of e-scooter accidents at the Malmi and Meilahti joint emergency departments and at the Töölö Hospital Emergency Department in 2020 and 2021. 

The research findings are to be used in support of decisions taken by the City of Helsinki on restrictions imposed on e-scooter rentals. Aalto University and e-scooter operators are also co-operating in the research. The first findings will probably be obtained during spring 2022.