AUSTIN, Texas - The CDC is working with the City of Austin to conduct the first epidemiology study over dockless scooter injuries.

  • Austin has about 12,000 dockless scooters
  • 37 EMS calls and 68 scooter-related injuries reported from early September to early November
  • CDC to study injuries to make recommendations for Austin, nation 

According to the Austin Transportation Department, this newer form of commuting around town has not come without injuries. There have been 37 EMS calls and 68 scooter injuries reported from early September to early November.

The CDC's study will focus on these incidents, and will be a collaboration between Austin Public Health, Transportation, and three epidemiologists from the agency.

According to the City of Austin, there are nearly 12,000 dockless scooters around the city, accounting for nearly 300,000 trips taken in just October alone.

Scooter riding has become a very popular way of commuting around town, with most trips taken around peak travel periods in the morning and evening, and around lunchtime. The data collected in this study will be used to educate riders on the best safety practices to utilize around Austin, and around the nation.

"We're the first community that has requested something like this even though the scooters are certainly becoming more common throughout the country in different communities," Austin Public Health Medical Director Philip​ Huang said.

A set of rules on dockless scooter operations was adopted last month and the city is planning to release a Safe Riding Ordinance to the City Council in February of next year.

Huang hopes the CDC study will give them a better idea of the severity of scooter-related injuries.

"We have a lot of connections working with the state health department and the CDC. It's a real win-win. We've been looking at the issue working with the Transportation department and internally, our epidemiologists have been looking at the data also but this allows us to do a more in-depth dive in looking at the issue," Huang said.

After the CDC study is completed, City Council could take action on updating the dockless scooter rules in Spring 2019.