e-Mobility Safety Research
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 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. JTI and its 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, etc).
- 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.
In 2022, JTI helped inform Brisbane’s e-mobility strategy by the Brisbane City Council, and the Queensland Government Personal Mobility Device Safety Action Plan.
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