Safety concerns have been prompted by increased emergency department presentations related to devices such as e-scooters, e-bicycles, e-skateboards, Segways and One Wheels. It is critical that an effective surveillance approach be developed to provide information for regulators to help keep people safe from ePMD injuries and lead to improved safety measures.

Evidence-informed policy such as Brisbane’s e-mobility strategy by the Brisbane City Council, and the Queensland Government Personal Mobility Device Safety Action Plan, are critical steps in establishing and implementing effective safety measures as part of a broader strategy.

This research informs specific policy settings which may lead to improved safety, demonstrated by Queensland's crack down on e-scooters riders ahead of the introduction of safety measures including reduced speed limits which took effect on 1 November.



Why the research project is important

The adoption of e-mobility has seen a dramatic increase in the use of devices such as e-scooters in recent years through their availability via public hire schemes in cities around the world. Despite being enjoyed as a cheap and easy to use form of transport, their use has also led to increases in injury presentations at Emergency Departments, especially for head and upper body injuries. Soon after e-scooters were launched locally, the Australian Centre for Health Services Innovation (AusHSI), in partnership with the Jamieson Trauma Institute (JTI), commenced a collaboration with researchers from major Hospital Emergency Departments in Brisbane to better understand the incidence and nature of injuries related to e-mobility.

What the research seeks to do

The e-Mobility Safety Research project aims to understand the impact of ‘rideables’ or electric personal mobility devices (ePMDs) and improve safety for all e-Mobility users living in Queensland. AusHSI/JTI and their research partners and collaborators are expanding current research activity with additional methodologies to achieve the following aims:

  • Examine the patterns, type and severity of injuries associated with ePMDs, including comparisons across different types of devices and purposes of use.
  • Identify patterns of injuries, including variation according to different factors (e.g., age, sex, location, day and time).
  • Examine the safety attitudes and behaviour of ePMD users, including across different types of devices and purposes of use.
  • Engage with injured patient groups to obtain in-depth information regarding contributors to crashes, experience of the health system post-injury, access to compensation, and the impact on their lives.
  • Examine perceptions of risk and safety across a range of community cohorts, such as pedestrians, older adults, etc.
  • Engage with industry and government stakeholders to provide a broader contextual understanding of the issue, including industry practices surrounding employment conditions, provision of personal safety equipment, insurance and compensation access, and associated costs to individuals, communities, and health departments.
  • Inform collaborative efforts to provide frameworks for safety and to introduce ePMD product standards.

What are the research outcomes/ impact

Quantifying the extent to which e-mobility-related injuries are involved in presentations to hospital emergency departments will enable a better understanding of patterns, severity, circumstances, and treatment outcomes of these incidents. As the number of e-mobility trials increase across Queensland and Australia, this valuable and timely research offers significant potential to improve the safety of e-mobility nationally.


Read more here.

Follow AusHSI on Twitter.
Follow the Jamieson Trauma Institute on Twitter.